To celebrate the launch of SteepEdge our first six featured adventure films are themselves all firsts or breakthroughs.
The Hard Way – Annapurna South Face is the story of Bonington’s expedition in 1970. It proved massive faces on 8000m peaks were climbable. A dozen North Faces of the Eiger would fit into this face with room to spare. The film, shot with bulky 16mm cameras, is stunning and the dry humour of Don Whillans and Mick Burke has us laughing throughout.
The next two films feature Everest and prove that challenge not height is what counts. But for these challenges, it must involve the highest mountain on earth. Leo Dickinson’s tense documentary Everest Unmasked follows Reinhold Messner and Peter Hableler’s ascent of Everest without Oxygen in 1978. It was thought to be impossible without serious damage to health or even death. But if you already have been seriously damaged, say you are blind, will you ever even dream of climbing Everest? The answer is yes. Michael Brown’s moving story of the ascent of Everest by Erik Weihenmayer is as beautiful as it is inspiring Farther Than the Eye Can See
Back down to earth, to the Peak District of England, and the classic rock epic Hard Grit This film from the Slackjaw team combines history with humour and gripping action. It remains a spur for so many great rock climbing films that appeared after 2000. In the next months we will feature many more from around the world.
Let’s finish with films from America and Russia A Thin White Line is a testimonial to human effort. It documents a unique way to overcome both physical challenges and emotional grief on a mountain bike race, the harsh Alaskan Iditarod. No wonder it was a People’s Choice at so many Festivals!
And now, “Something Completely Different” for any Monty Python fans Rubicon – Or People from the Other Side of the Earth is the world’s first “Rock Musical”, an extremely difficult 1st ascent on the Great Sail of Baffin Island with song and poetry. Bizarre? Hey, they’re climbers!
Hope you enjoy watching this months recommended films … John Porter