Keep up-to-date on your favourite artists and movies, track gig and release dates, and join in the conversation.
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Mountain' on SWITCHCast
SEARCH RESULTS FOR
Join Daniel for the swashbuckling adventure 'Peter Pan' on a brand new episode of Ink & Paint - click here to listen now!x
review, Mountain, Mountain, film, movie, latest movies, new movie, movie ratings, current movie reviews, latest films, recent movies, current movies, movie critics, new movie reviews, latest movie reviews, latest movies out, the latest movies, review film, latest cinema releases, Australian reviews, cinema, cinema reviews, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Peedom, Documentary film rating

MOUNTAIN

★★★★

A JAW-DROPPING MARRIAGE OF MUSIC AND VISUALS

THEATRICAL REVIEW
LATEST REVIEWS
By Jake Watt
17th September 2017

“What is this strange force that draws us upwards - this siren song of the summit?” asks actor Willem Dafoe’s solemn voiceover, intoning the words of ‘Mountains of the Mind’ author, Robert Macfarlane.

“Are these guys fucking insane?” I asked myself (several times) while watching the feature documentary ‘Mountain’, from Macfarlane and ‘Sherpa’ director Jennifer Peedom.

“How did they get that shot?” I gawped while watching the footage taken by Renan Ozturk, the high-altitude cinematographer who previously worked on ‘Sherpa’, using drones, Go-Pros and helicopters.

“Shit. That looks painful,” I winced as a rock climber tore his nails and scraped the skin from his fingers on a handhold, other climbers huddling in a tent that swung on a sheer rock face, waiting out a blizzard as avalanches thundered around them.

Pieced together from more than 2,000 hours of footage shot in 15 countries, ‘Mountain’ is a 70-minute tribute to the western explorers, adventurers, thrill-seekers and athletes who are willing to risk their lives climbing the world’s great heights.

SWITCH: 'MOUNTAIN' TRAILER

Beginning with the earlier days of recreational mountain climbing, ‘Mountain’ trots out some grainy old footage of mountain climbers before barrelling into the gasp-inducing stuff.

Drawing on the archives of the Canadian production house Sherpas Cinema, the documentary features jaw-dropping shots of mountaineers, ice climbers, tightrope walking (across two peaks in Castle Valley, Utah), BASE jumpers, wingsuiters, heliskiers, snowboarders and mountain bikers. Dafoe’s voiceover asserts various meditations on life and nature which the filmmakers use to frame the footage.

“I was looking for a very particular voice to carry this film,” said Peedom on Dafoe’s casting, in a recent interview. “Given the nature of the collaboration, the voice itself needed to be an instrument in order to carry the poetry of Robert Macfarlane’s words and to hold up alongside the powerful score curated by Richard Tognetti. But it also needed to feel authentic. Willem Dafoe brought both those things to the film.”

Works by Chopin, Grieg, Vivaldi and Beethoven, as well as original music by Tognetti (the artistic director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra), are expertly paired with the footage to enhance the tension or beauty of scenes.

Pieced together from more than 2,000 hours of footage shot in 15 countries, ‘Mountain’ is a 70-minute tribute to the western explorers, adventurers, thrill-seekers and athletes who are willing to risk their lives climbing the world’s great heights.

“The original music I wrote for ‘Mountain' was composed in real collaboration with Jennifer [Peedom],” Tognetti was quoted. “She would tell me what she was trying to express and what the scene in the movie meant, and then I would try and come up with the musical equivalent. Some of the compositions are filmic and some of them are more like dreamscapes.”

The documentary also allows for moments away from the adventurers to admire the otherworldly beauty of the scenery. My favourite example was the time-lapse photography showing some snowy landscape rising and falling with the heat of the sun, an effect which made the mountain look like it was respiring like a sleeping giant.

As I walked out of my screening of ‘Mountain’, I mused: would I ever live my fullest life, here in the comforting bosom of Australia's busiest city? I could always take a trip to Yosemite and do a free-solo climb of El Capitan or spend a winter vacation going BASE jumping in the insurgent-held Borno region of Nigeria...

Then scenes from the documentary flashed through my mind: the stranded Australian climber, nauseous and whimpering, “Oh God, take me home,” and a body plummeting on a rope, only to rebound off a icy cliff-face.

Nope. I was good. Watching ‘Mountain’ was thrilling enough.

FAST FACTS
RELEASE DATE: 21/09/2017
RUN TIME: 1h 13m
CAST: Willem Dafoe
DIRECTOR: Jennifer Peedom
WRITERS: Robert Macfarlane
Jennifer Peedom
www.mountainmovie.com.au
MountainDocumentary
Want more? Listen to our discussion of 'Mountain' on SWITCHCast 
TOP-RATED REVIEWS
A Christmas Gift from Bob - A true story of the festive spirit
TRENDINGWIN A CHRISTMAS GIFT FROM BOBA true story of the festive spirit
Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse - Fairly brainless
TRENDINGSCOUTS GUIDE TO THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSEFairly brainless
Pocahontas - 25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
TRENDINGPOCAHONTAS25 years later, the colours of the wind are fading
Rams - Baaa-ck off
TRENDINGRAMSBaaa-ck off
25 Free-to-Watch Short Horror Films - The scariest shorts we uncovered online
TRENDING25 FREE-TO-WATCH SHORT HORROR FILMSThe scariest shorts we uncovered online
Australia's past, present and future - Celebrating NAIDOC Week with the best Indigenous films
TRENDINGAUSTRALIA'S PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURECelebrating NAIDOC Week with the best Indigenous films
David Fincher, ranked - The darkness and the soul of a legendary filmmaker
TRENDINGDAVID FINCHER, RANKEDThe darkness and the soul of a legendary filmmaker
Red Pill, Blue Pill - 10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
TRENDINGRED PILL, BLUE PILL10 films influenced by 'The Matrix' on its 20th anniversary
The Violin Player - Sex and strings
TRENDINGTHE VIOLIN PLAYERSex and strings
River's Edge - The kids aren't alright
TRENDINGRIVER'S EDGEThe kids aren't alright
The Secrets We Keep - They kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
TRENDINGTHE SECRETS WE KEEPThey kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
British Film Festival 2020 - The reviews
TRENDINGBRITISH FILM FESTIVAL 2020The reviews
The Secrets We Keep - They kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
TRENDINGTHE SECRETS WE KEEPThey kept a big secret... this movie is mediocre
Wet Woman in the Wind - A sexy struggle for conquest
TRENDINGWET WOMAN IN THE WINDA sexy struggle for conquest
Then Came You - Then came the same movie over and over again
TRENDINGTHEN CAME YOUThen came the same movie over and over again
Kinky Boots - Sex is in the heel
TRENDINGKINKY BOOTSSex is in the heel
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
2:22 - Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
TRENDING2:22Mind-bending metaphysical mumbo-jumbo
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale - An extremely silly zomedy
TRENDINGTHE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALEAn extremely silly zomedy
Wrath of Silence - Action-filled mystery and scathing social critique
TRENDINGWRATH OF SILENCEAction-filled mystery and scathing social critique
© 2011 - 2020 midnightproductions
All rights reserved

Support SWITCH | Disclaimer | Contact Us