Weekend Warm-Up: Punk Aesthetic Meets Dirtbag Vibes in ‘Keep it Real’

What happens if you combine the devil-may-care attitude of the original Yosemite Camp 4 dirtbags with the grit and grime of England’s late ’70s, early ’80s punk scene?

Just ask Hamish McArthur, Maximillian Milne, Jim Pope, and Kieran Forrest. The quartet of climbers spends the bulk of Keep it Real — a recent short film from Arc’teryx — channeling exactly that vibe.

The four climbers at the center of Arc'teryx's new film.

The ‘Fab Four’ at the center of Arc’teryx’s new film. Photo: Screenshot


Shot in a dizzying mishmash of black and white, handheld, fish-eye, heavy grain, low resolution, and other visual conceits, the film has very little dialogue but bouldering in spades. And it’s where that climbing occurs that sets the aforementioned tone — in sweaty attic lofts, dusty backrooms, and an unnamed outdoor location lit only by camera flashlights. Pair that with a pulsing dance score, and you’ve got a gritty little climbing film unlike anything else you’ve ever seen.

a low-resolution photo of a young man climbing a board

If there’s a grungy attic that can accommodate a climbing board, these four have installed one. Photo: Shutterstock


Between crushing board sessions and filing the callouses off their fingers, the four young men find plenty of time for gnoshing street food, crashing clubs and pubs, and fueling up with the Full English.

a man climbs a bolder illuminated only by cell phone flashlights

Photo: Screenshot


Then it’s back to it, cheekily kissing the Arc’teryx logos that adorn their clothing while chalking up and attacking each line with what can only be called youthful exuberance. This video will either make you feel half your age or twice your age.

Maybe it’s just a matter of mindset.

Andrew Marshall

Andrew Marshall is an award-winning painter, photographer, and freelance writer. Andrew’s essays, illustrations, photographs, and poems can be found scattered across the web and in a variety of extremely low-paying literary journals.
You can find more of his work at www.andrewmarshallimages.com, @andrewmarshallimages on Instagram and Facebook, and @pawn_andrew on Twitter (for as long as that lasts).