Mountain

Watched: 12 February

This eye candy-heavy documentary by Jennifer Peedom (Sherpa) looks at our fascination with the world’s highest peaks, and the ways in which we attempt to ‘conquer’ them, though Willem Dafoe’s narration carefully distances the film from such human arrogance, instead waxing lyrical about the majesty, scale and otherness of various mountain ranges. The assembled footage is quite incredible – much of it made with drones, I am assuming – and despite my familiarity with a few pieces of the pie (e.g. The Ridge, the short film about stunt cyclist Danny MacAskill’s rather stupefying ride across the top of the Cuillin Hills on Skye) it’s hard not to have your heart in your mouth as the likes of free solo climbers negotiate sheer rock faces and wingsuit flyers pass through rock crevices at high speeds. The various skiers, snowboarders and extreme sport dudes who appear aren’t named or interviewed, which keeps the focus on the mountains that dwarf them, but it’s a shame that the various locations aren’t listed either (Everest aside). (***)