View Full Version : Touching the VOID

02-24-2004, 07:22 PM
A W E S O M E mountaineering epic...showing right *now* at the spectrum theatre in Albany,NY. I highly reccommend this to everyone on this board, as well as any other I have come into contact with since I saw it on Sunday. Makes me feel like a wimp after doing the trap dyke 2 weekends ago!

2 Thumbs up guys.. go see it!

02-24-2004, 08:00 PM
I certainly agree. AMAZING. Not only is it a great story (I had already had read the book), but the visuals are stunning. A real epic about the human spirit.

In Rochester, NY it's playing at the Little Theatre. I reccomend it for any lover of the great outdoors (or anyone else for that matter).

IMHO, it challenges for the best climbing movie, EVER.

02-24-2004, 08:56 PM
Saw it at the Spectrum on Saturday and LOVED it . . . even though you know it is all going to be okay, I sat at the edge of my seat.


02-24-2004, 11:07 PM
Yeah it was definately awsome! That was some crazy trip:eek: !

I wondered though, how true it all was. You think they embelished a bit? I mean, it was just those 2 guys who were there.

02-25-2004, 06:03 AM
I read the book. Talk about an amazing story. It is amazing what that guy went through. Now I want to see the movie. Only problem is they probably wont play it in the sticks. Hopefully it will be out on video.

02-25-2004, 07:15 AM
Originally posted by sli74
...even though you know it is all going to be okay, I sat at the edge of my seat.

Man, thanks for killing it!


(no, but serious spoiler alert there -- I never read the book and was actually planning on seeing the film first... :( )

02-25-2004, 07:32 AM
I am sorry, but if it makes you feel any better, the way the story is told as a documentary, if you see the first minute of the film, you know . . . sorry, in any case, if I ruined it for anyone . . . I guess I already knew that the author of the story was Joe Simpson.


02-25-2004, 10:21 AM
It's also playing at the Wescott Cinema in Syracuse for any central NYrs. It sure makes you cringe when Joe is sliding down the mountain with his broken leg flailing around:eek:

02-25-2004, 11:26 AM
I thought that they might have embelished a bit on their story, but I read a review of the movie which said that when the director brought both Joe and Simon back to the mountain for some on location shooting of the film, emotions ran very high. According to the review, Simon and the director did not talk for the whole trip or after their return. I guess he had a lot of nightmeres and was visably upset by being back out the mountain. Sounds like it might be very close to the truth.

Then again, he did cut the rope...no way to embelish that.


02-25-2004, 03:28 PM
JimB wrote: "It sure makes you cringe when Joe is sliding down the mountain with his broken leg flailing around."

I was squirming in my seat during the "falling down the glacier" scenes.

Saw the film last night and words cannot fully convey the feelings I felt while watching it. Truly an unbelievable story and film. I am so glad I got to meet Joe at his book signing in Boston a month ago. Truly a nice and down to earth guy to talk with.


02-25-2004, 08:34 PM
Does anybody know if this film is going to be playing in Maine? I went to the web site and plugged in the Bangor zip code and used the >25 mile radius setting, and came up empty handed. I've read the book (while I was recouping from a broken leg from climbing Mansfield) and would like to see the film.


ALGonquin Bob
02-25-2004, 09:41 PM
I saw it last night. What a will to live. Incredible. Since the author is the person who was left for dead, it's hard not to know that "all is going to be okay". I don't think that I ever saw the two climbers together in any of the interview/narration scenes. Are they still friends? Or did they "cut all ties" to each other?

02-25-2004, 09:49 PM
According to an article (forgot where I read it), they did climb together (once?) after that, but that was more because of differences in what they climbed. I guess Joe's recovery changed their objectives.

Joe and Simon do get along, but they now are in separate social circles. The filming was their first return to the location and it did not help either with getting closure. Joe still stands by Simon's decision to cut the rope.

If I can find the article I read, I'll edit this post. -- Jim

02-25-2004, 09:49 PM
AlG - according to a review I read (still trying to find it) they both still talk and I know they have both climbed since then but I do not know if they were together.


02-25-2004, 11:45 PM
From what I understand, jbreen pretty much got it right. They are not drinking buddies or anything, but there is no real hostility towards one another either.

I too seem to recal reading that way back when the book came out (in 1986, well before the hype surrounding it now) one of the main literary criticisms of the book was that the author (Simpson) spends too much effort (in the writing) exonerating Simon for cutting the rope to the point that it takes away from the story (Not that I agree with that or anything).

If that is in fact the case, It would be hard to believe that there is a ton of animosity between the two.

Dr. Dasypodidae
02-26-2004, 01:24 AM
....one irony is that if Simon had NOT cut the rope, both of them probably would have died on impact once Simon lost his stance.....

02-26-2004, 07:11 AM
Here (http://outside.away.com/outside/news/200402/200402_making_the_cut_1.html) is an article from the February issue of Outside magazine.


02-26-2004, 07:38 AM
The film is playing at the Nickelodeon in Portland, Maine, beginning on March 5th. Not sure how long it will run there. It will also be playing at the Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, from Saturday, March 20 through Wednesday, March 24. Show time is at 7pm with two shows on Saturday night, at 7 and 9. There will be discussion hosted by Paul Goodwin immediately following the Tuesday night (3/23) screening. Film Hot Line at the Music Hall is 603-436-9900; box office is 603-436-2400.

02-26-2004, 09:28 AM

Sounds good to me. I was wanting to go to the March 23rd show. What time for food and drinks at Muddy River? Say 5:30-ish?

02-26-2004, 11:13 AM
Simply stated...

IMHO, This is the best climbing film/movie (as opposed to documentary) ever made! Hands down it was well flimed, believeable as it related to the reality, and moreover, an incredible statement about human nature and overcoming adversity.


Read the book too, it's even better and more detailed.

02-26-2004, 12:16 PM
I was able to catch Simpson speak at the REI in boston last month (was it last month or this month? - anyway) and he flat out said that the reason he wrote the book in the first place was to let people know that Yates had no other choice when he cut that rope. And not only that, but Yates really did everything he could to get Simpson as far down the Mountain as he did, even at great risk to his own life.

Apparently Yates was really getting blasted from the climbing community when the story of the rope cutting first made its way through the grapevine - even so far as to being blacklisted by climbing organizations.

Simpson's book was to set the record straight by telling the full story.

From various interviews and articles that I have read over the years (and even in this film), Yates does strike me as a rather cantankerous guy - which may explain why he didnt get along with the producer of the film and has subsequently allowed his relationship with Simpson to wither. But this lack of relationship is not due to the rope cutting.

02-26-2004, 01:01 PM
I was thinking of seeing this movie with my 9-year old daughter, but saw a review of it on the web that said "intended for mature audiences." To those of you who have seen it, is there anything inappropriate for a 9-year old?

02-26-2004, 01:27 PM
Mike, that's not an easy question to answer for a non-parent.

But in my opinion, you see worse on the nightly news and on MTV and much worse in most PG-13 and R movies. No gory violence at all (although the guys don't look too well after days in the mountains), no gratuitous violence, no sex or nudity, and on the plus side... a lot of insight into the human character and condition, something most parents would value in their child's development.

(There are a few scenes-2 if I recall-of desperation using curse words so you need to know that...and the "f" word is used on these occasions, however, with the Brit accent it almost comes off as "fik". This is the ONLY objectionable part of the movie I saw in terms of your specific question re: a 9 year old. And it can be kept in perspective, I think, when seeing how it's used. Also, one time Joe says they "could have gone tits up", ie: dead. It's not sexual, though, more of a Brit expression, I think.)

Personally, I say she stands to learn a lot from the movie and you risk very few (no) negative effects in her seeing it.

02-26-2004, 02:56 PM
Holdstrong wrote: "Yates does strike me as a rather cantankerous guy "

Not to disagree on this point but David Hawkings, the young guy Joe and Simon recruited to guard their base camp, noted in the movie that he found Simon to be more amiable and patient than Joe had been on the expedition. Joe said he was very ambitious and seemed keen to make a name for himself. I'm sure he wore his ego on his sleeve as well. Let's remember too, Joe was 25 and Simon was only 21 when they were in Peru. Some cool heads in a very difficult situation for young guys.

Truly the film is not to be missed if you love mountaineering.


02-26-2004, 03:00 PM
Originally posted by mike1889
...To those of you who have seen it, is there anything inappropriate for a 9-year old?
I think DeadFred accurately described most of what might be considered objectionable for a 9-year old. The only thing I'd add is that there is considerable intensity and life & death situations, which could upset more sensitive children. I'd tend to agree with Fred that most kids see much worse on a regular basis, but YMMV. I would probably have taken my kids at that age, and I don't think I screwed them up too badly.
Just like in climbing, keep an escape route in mind. If it's bothering your daughter, head for the exit.

02-26-2004, 03:09 PM
It might be easier for younger kids (wow I shouldn't talk - I'm not even 18 :p ) because from the first minute of the movie you know they both survive. If your child understands that, it might make it easier to deal with. But what do I know...


02-26-2004, 03:50 PM
the young guy Joe and Simon recruited to guard their base camp, noted in the movie that he found Simon to be more amiable and patient than Joe had been on the expedition.

That is a great point. I did take note of that as well, and was quite honestly a bit suprised by it - simply because of the way Yates has always carried himself in interviews and in this movie and because of the stories one hears of his temper. I also remember getting a kick out of Hawkings recollection that when he realized something went wrong, he hoped it wasnt Simon Yates who was hurt.... if he had to choose between them.

I guess this speaks to the fact that you can't make judgements about an individual without personally getting to know them, but at the same time I wouldnt be suprised at all if this whole ordeal has just grown tired for Yates, and that is what is coming across. Afterall, he was the one who was unjustly criticized because of it. While his climbing partner has gone on to wealth and fame. Who could blame him for being a bit short when dealing with it now?

This exceprt from a New York Times review is quite telling:

". . .the return stirred intense emotions. Although Mr. Simpson has always defended him, in climbing circles Mr. Yates has never shaken his notoriety as the Man Who Cut the Rope, and the return to Siula drained him of his characteristic good humor. "It was hard for him to be back there," Mr. Macdonald recalled. "There were days when Simon wasn't talking to Joe or me or any of the crew."

Shortly after the trip, Mr. Yates declined to participate further in the documentary. "I think he's fed up with the story and wants to move on," Mr. Macdonald said. "Which you can understand. I think it's haunted his life."

Mad Townie
02-26-2004, 05:29 PM
Check the "Trips & Events" board, where I've posted a call for a VFTT "Touching the Void" night in Portland.

Dr. Dasypodidae
02-26-2004, 08:38 PM
I saw the film with my 50-some year old lady friend who is a biology professor, and she could not watch some parts; of course, she knew better than a 9-year old the seriousness of Joe's injuries. But, she also knew that he survived, of course....

The f-word use was part of a near-death tantrum, and as noted, was a bit minced by the accent, and seemed very reasonable given the circumstances. Perhaps you can tell your kid that he or she is not allowed to swear unless things are as dire as in the film?

02-26-2004, 09:26 PM
i read the book when it first came out and i couldn't put it down. i hope they have the movie on dvd soon- how was the cinematography? i hope it's awesome. i can't imagine what i must be like to think your partner is dead only to find he is not only alive but the monumental challenges he went thru to make it back to base camp. if i remember correctly, weren't they packing up to leave & if he hadn't shown up when he did all his endeavors would have been for nothing? on the funny side: has anyone read "a walk in the woods" by bill bryson? if not, please do it's hysterical.:D

02-26-2004, 10:22 PM
I think it would be OK for a mature 9 year old. Most of theater squemed in thier seats at some of the intense parts, it's intense. I agree with the above comments on the cursing, it's appropriate use, but it's there. The first thing I'd ask is if it's likely to scare child away from the mountains. The story is nightmarish in so many of it's circumstances.

02-27-2004, 11:34 AM
Shadow Cat - A Walk In The Woods is hands down the funniest hiking book I have ever read. Love it.


02-27-2004, 07:09 PM
Can someone please tell me if this film will be shown anywhere in Western MA, Worcester MA, or Vermont?
I cannot find any info as to when and where it will be shown other than where it is playing at this time.
I cannot wait to see this!

:confused: :confused: :confused:

02-27-2004, 08:47 PM
I took my 8 and 10 year olds to it and except for the language Deadfred mentioned, they were OK knowing that the narrators (Simon, Richard and Joe) were the real people and came out OK.

I will say that when Joe is in the crevasse repeatedly saying the mother of all curses, I did lean over and say "if you ever fall into a crevasse, then that is the *only* time it's OK to say it.".

On a humerous note, I took my kids sledding the week earlier and the hill was 15 inches of powder on top of ice. So (being always prepared) I adjusted a pair of crampons down to my son's size to climb the hill and when he saw the opening climbing scene, says in a child's whisper "those crampons are just like mine!". The older couple in front of us did a double take when they saw his size.

Oh, www.ifcfilms.com has the theater list.


02-28-2004, 09:55 AM
Maddy - It is currently playing in Albany NY at the Spectrum Theater. I know it is not Western Mass - but it is closer than Boston! It is worth a 2 hr drive to see it!!!:D

02-28-2004, 08:11 PM
Thanks for the replies.
I copied the list and can hardly wait to see it!
I will surely view it more than once.
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D

03-01-2004, 10:06 PM
Does anyone know if this movie will play in Plattsburgh, NY in the near future? I have called the movie theaters and it's not on a listing for showing right now. I have been dying to see this movie as I have heard so much about it.

03-02-2004, 07:11 AM
I took my 9-year old daughter and she enjoyed it. The cursing was minimal. The movie definitely keeps you interested. The re-enactment of the climb seemed very realistic.

03-02-2004, 07:26 AM

It's starting at The Academy of Music in Northhampton on 3/12!! I;m calling today to see about times and tickets!!


03-02-2004, 10:21 AM
or email me from profile section

03-02-2004, 07:03 PM
Thanks Ken.
To all interested in viewing this film in Northampton MA , I went to the Academy of Music this pm and the doors were locked up tight. From the posting on the door I think the tickets go on sale 3O minutes before showtime.
I tried calling this eve but I always get the same recording.
AS for Plattsburg NY, if you go into IFCFilms.com you can get a complete listing of all the showings throughout the US.
Hope this helps.

03-03-2004, 08:23 PM
Thank you for the info but calling the theaters around Plattsburgh, there isn't a showing of 30 miles around here, so I guess I will have to wait, until it is closer by, which shouldn't be to long I hope.

03-05-2004, 09:59 AM
No show in Plattsburg is bad news as I can get there in an hour. I can't find anything on release dates in Canada. You'd think they'd at least pick it up in Lake Placid. Help!

03-05-2004, 11:30 AM
As far as NOHO... the website doesn't have the showings listed yet. It is only showing up to the 11th. Shwoings are supposed to start the 12th. Best to watch the website for show times when they update it.



03-05-2004, 07:18 PM
For the Plattsburg afficianado's try the Roxy(the old Nickelodian) in Burlington(the downtown theater) starting on 3/12. This is per the distributor's web site. Doesn't say for how long it will be there so you may want to check with the theater directly.

03-05-2004, 07:18 PM
the spectrum in albany will be showing this movie until at least the 18th, possibly longer but def until the 18th if anyone is interested in seeing it.

03-11-2004, 09:05 PM
Saw it last night at the Spectrum in Albany. This was a story about the will and effort to survive more so than it was about climbing. This was one of those "80% of climbing accidents (or deaths?)" which occur n the descent.

The filming was well done (Alps & some Peru) and all in attendance remained rivoted during the entire film.

03-20-2004, 07:11 PM
I saw the matinee today at the Westcott Cinema in Syracuse.

I agree that it is a fine film. It really captured what was going through each person's mind...which added another fascinating layer to an already incredible true tale.

Highly recommended.