“Mountain” directed by Jennifer Peedom (2017)
‘Those who dance are considered mad by those who can’t hear the music’
‘Mountain’ begins by presenting us with the vocabulary which is often used to discuss mountain culture. 300 years ago imagery anywhere between the holy and the hostile was commonplace and still infuses modern mountain narratives. The duality of this vision is explored throughout the film through the direction of Jennifer Peedom, the cinematography of Renan Ozturk, the words of Robert MacFarlane and the music arranged by Richard Tognetti.
Images, music and words are precisely selected by this team to invoke this sense of wonder and fear, reverence and adventure, dream and nightmare which exist side by side throughout the film. Mountains are frequently perceived as ‘magic’, possessing an ‘allure’ which is ‘spellbinding’ to some and madness or lunacy to others.
This cinematic essay touches on all aspects of mountain culture; history, geology, geography, cartography and religion, without being daunted by the scope of its ambitions. The documentary examines phenomena such as risk management, Everest fever and extreme sports such as skiing, climbing, snowboarding, flying suits, hang gliding and cycling to present an appraisal of the latest mountain sports. We are reminded of the extreme risks taken by some of these athletes in the race for online views, aimed at drawing our attention to both athletes and sponsors.
All in all this is a superbly curated and thought provoking piece which will appeal to outdoor people from many backgrounds.