6 May 2022.
THE SANCTITY OF SPACE ****
Mt. McKinley is the highest mountain peak in North America. But, situated in Alaska, it is now known by its native name, Denali. To avid mountain climbers it is obviously a huge challenge for, as they often repeat, they are literally “driven” to conquer such peaks no matter the dangers.
In this absorbing and exciting documentary, three such daring climbers – Renan Ozturk, Freddie Wilkinson and Zack Smith – become fascinated by the area after discovering the majestic black and white photos of the veteran mountain photographer and cartographer of the 1940s, Brad Washburn.
His photographs of newly-discovered heights inspire them to attempt a far more treacherous climb in the area called the Great Gorge, to the side of Denali, with incredibly sharp peaks called the Tooth Traverse.
This film, which took over five years to prepare, is about their off-and-on assault of the dangerous Traverse – their meticulous preparations, their families and relationships and of course their various climbs and breathtaking cinematography which will have your heart beating and your head spinning, as though you were up there in that rarified atmosphere. Directed by Ozturk and Wilkinson, it also pays detailed homage to Washburn, the man who inspired them.
As Ozturk puts it, “When you discover a big climb that’s never been done, it kind of feels like falling in love”.
TÉNOR ** (vo French)
There’s been a slew of mediocre French films lately, and two of them have had the comedian/actress Michele Laroque in them, which might be a coincidence, or not. Quite a bit of over-acting there.
This one, directed by Claude Zidi Jr. (a renowned name in French cinema production), is about two worlds colliding – one, that of a young rap artist with an exceptional voice, the other, the world of grand opera. Sounds like a great idea, but the whole thing is so slick and obvious from the get-go that it feels stale, despite the varied and beautiful world of Parisian life.
But being sentimental, with everything but the kitchen sink in it, it might prove to be a successful crowd-pleaser…
And once again to remind you – outstanding films not to miss:
NOBODY HAS TO KNOW (L’Ombre d’un mensonge) and BELFAST at the Scala. And for pure excitement and info, NOTRE-DAME BRÛLE at the Bio in Carouge.
They will be gone soon.
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Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.