Mountain: A Captivating Documentary

Rob Jarvis and client at day break in a horizontal climb over a snow peak. Courtesy of Greenwich Entertainment.

The recent documentary, Mountain, gets into a deeper explanation of why people become so adventurous in reaching the summit.

Mountain is a unique documentary in that it’s an actual collaboration.  Rather than a single documentary filmmaker come up with the idea to make the film, it’s one that came as a result of Australian Chamber Orchestra artistic director Richard Tognetti.  Without Tognetti approaching BAFTA-nominated director Jennifer Peedom, we don’t get Mountain at all.  Without Peedom, we don’t get the poetic words from Robert MacFarlane that are beautifully read by Oscar nominated-actor Willem Dafoe.  Nor would we get the captivating cinematography from Renan Ozturk from the moment the film starts.  The resulting work is a beautiful marriage on film that makes for a full-on magical treat.

While Ozturk serves as the principal cinematographer, he was helpful in getting contributions from other cinematographers.  Back in the day, capturing images by drone for a film would have been unheard of.  A film such as Mountain would be next to impossible to fully capture the wondrous views without them.  It was only a few centuries ago that climbing mountains would be akin to a death sentence.  At the time, it was best to just admire their beauty from afar.  This is no longer the case.

There are those mountains that are best being viewed from afar.  When you have summit such as Everest, it basically is daring the impossible.  I’m not saying it’s completely impossible to reach the peak but there are so many horror stories regarding Everest that only end in tragedy.  There have been quite a few books and films that have told these tragic stories.

Without the overlaying music, the storytelling in this film just would not have the same impact.  The images would still have astonishing views but the music is what helps drive the narrative home.  The music provides the right emotional beat at the right time.  Even for those that wouldn’t dare to climb these astonishing wonders, there’s something for everyone whether it’s the oration, awe-inspiring visuals, or music.

Mountain is a film that would be perfect for the IMAX screens found inside science centers.  It plays better in this environment than it does at the average cinema because of stellar views requiring the larger screen.  The large screens would make it feel as if you’re right there with people climbing them or flying overheard.

Climbing mountains may not be your thing but one cannot deny the splendid beauty of the thrilling cinematic visuals in Mountain.

DIRECTOR:  Jennifer Peedom
SCREENWRITER:  Robert Macfarlane
NARRATOR:  Willem Dafoe

Greenwich Entertainment opened Mountain in limited release on May 11, 2018.  Robert Macfarlane’s memoir, Mountains of the Mind: Adventures in Reaching the Summit, is available for purchase.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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