I would like to think that everyone enjoys watching a good documentary. I know I do. And then for an extra treat, watching a good documentary in an IMAX theatre. That enormous screen, the sound engulfing you, the sensation of almost being transported into the world these talented story tellers are presenting to you, whether you’re underwater surrounded by sharks, high up in the canopies of the amazon swinging with the monkeys, or as I recently had the experience again, high in the oxygen depraved peaks of Everest.
The documentary I am referring, aptly named “Everest”, follows a team of climbers ascending the great mountain during the spring of 1996 and shows all the perils and joys of successfully conquering the challenge that has over the decades taken the lives of so many adventure seekers. Watching this film on IMAX is, well, breathtaking. And I mean that quite literally. I sometimes felt myself gasping for air (and frankly almost sh***ng my pants) at the shear frightening scenes caught so masterfully on 70mm film. Now, not wanting to ruin the it for you, incase you haven’t seen it, but yes some make it to the top and suffice to say, the journey there is pure hell, at least from my perspective.
And as I sat there experiencing my own elation at the success of these climbers it suddenly dawned upon me: IMAX… 70mm film, meters and meters of it… 70mm film-camera… a bit of calculating… ok probably about 40 kilograms on the shoulder apart from all the extra supplies… tripods… other film gear… etc. etc. etc. etc. My head rattled at the thought of how amazing it was for those climbers who made it. But no one mentions the people who had to film it!! I mean seriously, take a second and imagine what it took to tell this story. The physical and technical challenges that faced the film crew. It is surely one of the most dangerous and overwhelmingly exhausting experienced dragging your own posterior up the monster-mountain, but then filming it too? Talk about risking your life for your art.
This is a serious shout-out to the crazy cowboys that risk their lives for their art, taking us to the ends of the earth, sometimes beyond, and occasionally making me crap my pants (excuse my French). You’re story is rarely told.
I salut you.
Once you’ve watched the whole film and need new underwear, get some ideas here…just saying.