Tjugo På Kjuge – A Bouldering DVDadded May/2006
Reviewed by Simon Jacques
This DVD by Shawn Boye, the first full-length film of Bouldering in Scandinavia's best known area of Kjuge, is a wonderful package of brutal yet stylish mouth watering bouldering.
The fabulous looking bloc sport is located in the nature reserve of Kjugekull, and is one of the largest and best areas for bouldering in Sweden, with 1050 boulder problems, making this region a must visit for the bouldering faithful.
The film is shot with the players all speaking Swedish, however this does not detract from the action and the English subtitles are very welcome to get in the minds of the bouldering clan, who look as they are having a fantastic time on the blocks set in a beautiful forest. And as well they might, as the rocks look quality and the first thing you notice is their size, as these are in the main seriously big and you are sweating just looking at them and some of the appalling landings!
There is a full range of problems showcased from overhanging crimpy horror shows, to slabs and the most amazing aręte action, and dynos and some technical traverses. The aesthetic granite blocks take centre stage in this film and the strong locals climb in a quiet, methodical manner and yet with all the frustrations of a boulderer. In one scene, where the climber fails, he throws his shoes away in disgust. "You thrive on anger" his mate says, recognise that anyone?
The film's feel is homely and very accessible and the climbers are not unlike those here the UK bouldering scene, with shouts of encouragement and spotting with wails of "combien!" (loosely translated into "give it beans!") and without all the chest beating and screaming into the lens that you get in some bouldering films. These lads and ladies are a dignified bunch and they are sickly strong. The chit-chat is cut to a minimum, which allows the film to flow from problem to problem and the wonderful production with genius split screens, gives the impression that Shawn has put a lot of effort into this film.
This DVD has the atmosphere of mates out bouldering having a great time, sketching up problems one minute, then working problems that look heinous the next, and finally cruising up some lovely looking lines in superlative Scandinavian sunshine.
The soundtrack is the best I have ever heard, with mainly great Reggae and African rhythms, which gives the production a smooth and laid back atmosphere, with impeccable timing of tracks that, although may not suit all tastes, dovetail into the action in an impressive way.
In short, this DVD does a great job on many levels, not least that in makes you want to go there and pull on the characteristic lines. It serves the boulder-hungry fraternity with some great climbing porn. Looking for negatives, I can't see any at all, apart from the fact that I now know what treats lie in the woods and I want to know more!
The running time is 72 minutes and there are some extras with out takes etc. which are amusing and, although it's £20 of your hard earned money, it's well worth it for repeated viewing on those cold wet days to inspire and make you think hard about your next bouldering holiday.
All in all this is a must buy for boulderers, it does not disappoint and is a fantastic insight to the bouldering at Kjuge. "Tjugo Pĺ Kjuge" more or less means "Twenty From Kjuge". If that's kilometres, I sure wish it was from my house.