Mountain (2017) Before I wind up the 2018 Ruthless Christmas Reviews, I’m taking a brief break. This review continues our reviews about mountains and humans that try to climb them.
In his recent review, Kevin continued the Ruthless disdain for mountain climbers, rock climbers and other dare-devils that foolishly fuck with Mother Nature with Free Solo. Our contempt for born-rich mountain climbers is well documented. They continue to pollute the majestic mountains with their garbage, corpses and oxygen bottles.
Mountain was not a mountain climbing movie or documentary. In fact, there was very little time devoted to mountaineering other than from a historical and philosophical perspective. What Mountain did have was gorgeous cinematography, and music from the Australian Chamber Orchestra. It also had distinctive narration from the great Willem DaFoe.
Back in the day, people didn’t climb mountains, they went around them if they had to. Like bears, they just left them alone. Mountains were either holy or hostile, worshiped or shunned. Eventually, this fear and reverence were replaced by human arrogance as they sought them out to be conquered.
Mountain began with some breathtaking shots and some great vintage film of early mountain climbing expeditions. This documentary quickly and often drove home the concept that the mountains were not impressed by rich and entitled white men who had an irresistible urge to conquer them.
This movie quickly veered away from mountain-climbing and concentrated on what this documentary was really about, i.e. daredevils. Whether it was trying to conquer K2, Meru, Siula Grande, The No. Face of the Geiger, or climbing up El Capitan naked, people had developed this fascination with death.
We saw snowboarders hurtling down steep slopes barely ahead of deadly avalanches. There were mountain bikers on impossibly narrow ledges, and tight-rope walkers hundreds of ft. above the ground in Monument Valley. Humans that try to mimic nature often receive a premature visit to the coroner or become an Orthopedic Surgeon’s science project. Even after devastating injury, they almost always come back for more, and with a religious fervor.
I liked this documentary and even watched it twice. It may not be for everyone and some might find it tedious or disappointing because of the lack of focus on K2, Everest, or one of the other more challenging peaks. In fact, the only mountain that was even mentioned by name was Everest, and only briefly. My take-away from this beautiful movie? These mountains are silent, immovable killers and are not in the least impressed by the people who try to best them.
7.0/10.0 with the Goatesians Rating of Watch if you like beautiful mountains and dumb humans