Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, March 2nd, 2018
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The reviews on Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey
‘Dirtbag’ Is Peak Documentary Filmmaking. Filmmaker Dave O’Leske surely realized he’d struck documentarian’s gold a decade ago when he began tailing veteran mountaineer Fred Beckey... a living legend in the climbing community and a character so fascinating you’d swear a Hollywood screenwriter invented him... Dirtbag beautifully captures the romance inherent in Fred Beckey’s lifelong passion. It fnds affectionate, oddball humor in latter-day Beckey’s cantankerous eccentricity. But it also illustrates with bracing clarity the thin line between following your dreams and being consumed by them.
Fred Beckey is a bridge to the roots of the American climbing scene. He was there when it all started. But he has always been more mystery than man. That is, until now... Dirtbag presents Beckey’s many climbing accomplishments, but it is not a climbing movie, per se. Rather, it’s a character study of a societal periphery antihero.Gear JunkieThe flm portrays the famously churlish Beckey as a road-tripping vagabond with few creature comforts and even fewer anchors in life, save for the unclimbed mountains shouting his name... Beckey’s character is revealed in candid moments captured by flmmakers during climbs with him and also through interviews with famous climbing contemporaries... It’s at its best, though, when examining the costs of single-mindedness (neglected relationships) and in exploring aging as Beckey embarked upon ambitious climbs into his 90s.
The Seattle Times
Beckey has a high bar for excitement, given his decades of record-setting mountaineering. Aside from grand adventures, he’s also picked up a number of epithets in his career: Grandfather of the road trip. Climbing’s living encyclopedia. A mythical character. Totally obsessive... Beckey hasn’t changed a bit.
National Geographic Explorer
Beckey makes for perfect documentary fodder. He’s led a fascinating life and had a wide-reaching impact, but outside of certain small circles and a specifc niche, he’s almost wholly unknown... Rebellious and uninhibited, Fred Beckey inspires and frustrates, enthralls and confounds. It’s easy to see why he attracted people to him like moths to fre for his whole life. He’s compelling, engaging, and kind of a dick, and all of this makes Dirtbag fascinating and entertaining as all hell.