Distilled is the new film recently brought out by climbing film makers Hot Aches Productions.
Distilled doesn't really fit the usual mold of climbing film. There is no hyping about how beautiful and natural a line is. In fact the climbing seems to be more of a means to keep the viewers eye busy while Andy tells the story of his life. That isn't to say that the film is badly shot. It really isn't. Its just that when I watched it I found Andy's story more interesting than what he was climbing, which is strange for me.
One thing that stands out from this film is the very unique life that Andy has lived. He has gone from a kid from a Yorkshire coal pit with no GCSE's to a world renowned climber summiting Himalayan Peaks with a PhD.
The film follows Andy Cave around Scotland in some very Scottish looking weather. I don't often think that I should wear waterproof trousers when winter climbing, especially not while watching films, but this certainly did. I must have watched this film at least 5 times now. I'm still yet to work out all of the routes that are featured in it (those labels are a bit subtle guys!). I have to say that seeing how little gear Andy carries on routes makes me feel a bit ashamed to climb things looking like a moving gear store!
The film does end on a bit of a somber note where Andy talks about his ascent of the North Face of Changabang, which claimed the life of his climbing partner Brendan Murphy. It was quite interesting for me to learn how Andy recovered from this and has since been back to the Himalayas.
I found Distilled inspiring in a very odd way. Its not like hot aches previous winter climbing film, The Pinncacle, which got me really psyched because of what Smith and Marshall did. I really can't put my finger on the way that Distilled has inspired me.
All I can really say is you have to watch it. Im sure its not to everyone's taste but give it a chance.
I give Distilled 1 thumb up.