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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, January 11, 2019

Honnold’s epic climb


IMAX Theater hosting run of climbing film ‘Free Solo’



Certain accomplishments can only be described as “singular.” These rarest of achievements are so fundamentally incredible, they seem unrepeatable.

Fortunately, cameras were rolling on June 3, 2017 when Alex Honnold secured his place in the rock climbing pantheon by scaling the 3,000-foot vertical face of Yosemite National Park’s legendary El Capitan without ropes or other safety equipment.

His was the kind of physical trial with only two possible outcomes: Either he was perfect, or he was going to die. That day, Honnold was perfect.

Thrill seekers who want to relive this incredible achievement from the safety of solid ground can experience it – vicariously and without fear of serious injury – through the National Geographic film “Free Solo.” From Jan. 11-17, the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater will host nightly showings of this documentary.

In the film, Honnold’s accomplishment is paired with Yosemite’s pristine, larger-than-life scenery by renowned adventure photographer, filmmaker, and climber Jimmy Chin and his wife and co-director, Emily Vasarhelyi.

Viewers will watch as Chin follows Honnold’s path up the cliff through sweeping panoramas that show the scale of the task and close ups that demonstrate the impossibly small projections he clung to on an otherwise sheer rock wall.

Chin balances the excitement of the physical trial with an equal focus on the ground, documenting Honnold’s preparations, both mental and physical, as well as the anxious fear and pride of the loved ones watching him undertake a seemingly impossible challenge.

“Free Solo” has received significant acclaim, raking in wins at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, Seattle Film Critics Awards and Toronto International Film Festival, among others. On Dec. 28, “Free Solo” was announced as one of 15 candidates short-listed for consideration as a nominee for Best Documentary at this year’s Academy Awards.

Screenings are at 7 p.m. Jan. 11-12, and 6 p.m. Jan. 13-17 at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater. Learn more at tnaqua.org/imax/free-solo.

Source: Tennessee Aquarium