One of things I liked most about Paul Robinson’s first film “The Schengen Files” was his no-fluff, minimalist approach to the storyline. It opened with just more than 2 minutes of intro before launching into one hard boulder problem after another. It maintained that pace for the 20-minute duration of the video, climaxing with his send of The Story of Two Worlds (V15).
One thing that slightly detracted from “The Schengen Files” was that it was just Paul. Not that I don’t enjoy watching one of the world’s best send the world’s hardest problems but after watching “Welcome to the Hood,” I realized how nice it is to see some fresh faces. In many respects, “Welcome to the Hood” can be considered ‘Part 2’ of the “The Schengen Files.” Like “The Schengen Files,” this movie documents a season of bouldering in Europe’s big hotspots throughout France, Austria, and Switzerland. Added to the cast this time is: Daniel Woods, Guntram Jörg, and Anthony Gullsten.
Font: Not a bad 'hood' to hang out in.
The idea behind the title is that one’s hood is the area in which they climb and the people they climb there with. For most of us, our hood is small; just a few friends and our local boulders. For these guys Daniel sums it up: “The hood is basically the world for me.” The 50/50 American/European foursome makes for a great crew as they move from area to area dispatching the hardest problems.
8a (V11) is the most common grade seen throughout the film. Most problems showcased are at least this difficult with quite a few in the V13 and V14 range. Highlights include Paul’s ascent of Supertanker (V14) and the first ascent of The Traphouse (V14), Guntram on The Shield (V14) and Big Paw (V14/15), Anthony on Anam Cara (V14/15) and of course, Daniel Woods’ flash of Entlinge (V14/15). It’s a fitting climax to a film of pure bouldering domination by the new generation.
Daniel on Bourgignon (8b/V13)
Of the 37-minute run-time I’d estimate that at least 30 of those minutes are just straight-up hard pulling. They didn’t waste a lot of time with character development or storyline, opting instead to create an old-school porn flick reminiscent of “Rampage.” In addition, they really stepped up their game with color correction and artistic shooting. The images are super bright and crystal clear HD while the title sequences are creative and catchy without detracting attention from the hard climbing. “Welcome to the Hood” perfectly incorporates modern quality with old style no-fluff action.
If you’d rather see it on the big screen there are a couple premieres coming up in the U.S. The first one is in Logan, Utah on March 31, then Fort Collins on April 5th, Boise, Idaho on the 7th, then Las Vegas on the 13th. See the posters below for more info.