Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Man Who Skied Down Everest (1975)

Academy Awards, USA 1976

Best Documentary, Features
F.R. Crawley
James Hager
Dale Hartleben

Specialty Films
Directed by Bruce Nyznik and Lawrence Schiller
My rating: 3.5 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia
(Blu-ray, The Film Detective)

Chronicle of an Everest expedition led by Japanese skier Yuichiro Miura, who intends to ski down the slope from near the summit. Dialogue is spoken by Douglas Rain, based on Miura's journals, which is eerily similar to Rain's other famous spoken role in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is introspective and often poetic. Music is by a group called Nexus and Larry Crosley, drawing from ethnic Tibetan and New Age influences. Finally, there is the cinematography by Mitsuji Kanau, who transitions from handheld work while crossing a deep crevice to the surrounding epic landscape with ease. Drama is provided by a cave-in which leads to several deaths, the trek to the summit and the final ski run, which almost fails spectacularly. These elements all come together, narrative, music and cinematography, for one of the more memorable Everest films. I'm happy to report the blu-ray presentation by Film Detective is nearly flawless.

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