Movie of the Day – Pumping Iron
September 12, 2012 Leave a comment
After watching the manliest movie ever last night at the Drafthouse, which was Predator by the way, I felt inspired to see where it all began for the Terminator himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Mainly I am more inspired to lose some fucking weight, which is happening slowly, but Pumping Iron is a motivator for sure. My fascination is more on the voyeuristic side of this documentary, where in we get to see a young Schwarzenegger at the early stages of his career where is more known for being a multiple winner of the Mr. Olympiad and Mr. Universe Title. It’s such an intimate look into what would eventually become, the biggest action star around, and you get to see that talent develop along the way. Plus as an added bonus, you get to see a unrestrained Arnold talk candidly about life and training.
The story at the center of the documentary is the focus on several bodybuilders and their attempt at winning the Mr. Universe title. Arnold is already 6 time champion and this is final attempt for number 7 before he retires and pursues acting. The documentary focuses mainly on Arnold, while showcasing a young Lou Ferrigno who is out to get the title. Arnold is witty, charming, frank and philosophical on his rise to fame and what bodybuilding has done for him in his life. It’s an intimate look at a blossoming career for a young man and also a smartly filmed story about the pursuit of perfection.
Pumping Iron is an amazingly well done documentary. The subjects fit perfectly within the story that the filmmaker wanted to tell with defined characters and personalities. At times, it is more chest thumping with the men of the film gloating about the definition of their muscles and giving the sort of sage advice you would expect would come from under the cap of a Monster Energy drink. It’s funny at times when you hear Arnold equate lifting to achieving orgasm, but then again this is their euphoric high that they attain, the pinnacle of their life.
For me, it’s more interesting in watching a young Arnold come into his own. He is most known at the time for his win in the body building world. Multiple Mr. Universe wins have made him larger than life, getting a taste for entertainment with commercials, photo shoots, movie roles and more. A lot of times though, he is off the cuff with his remarks. Witty, humorous and even charming at times, Arnold is spouting off phrases and philosophy lessons about lifting and what it means to him. Sure, you might chuckle a bit at the prophetic musings from a muscle bound man, but he is honest about what he says, albeit entertaining.
For a lot of people, Pumping Iron is their lifting bible. A documentary that shows some of the best builders at the time and how their passion translates into intensity and a life pursuit. I enjoy it more for the candid nature of watching Arnold being Arnold. He is this big oaf of a guy, one that has a goal and passion. It shows in every facet of the documentary and interviews, inspiring viewers to achieve something in their lives. Maybe not being in movies or whatever, but at least giving you some sage advice about following a passion.