“The photography, including overwhelming images of mountains, is an outstanding achievement”
The Australian nature documentary Mountain, based on a book by Robert Macfarlane, is an ode to mountains. In a poetic voice-over, Oscar winner Willem Dafoe talks of the fascination mountains have held for people through the ages.
Spectacularly beautifully images of many different mountains dominate this film. Against the huge scenic backdrops, people look like crumbs. The death-defying stunts of the climbers who seek to conquer the mountains add breath-taking excitement. All this is wrapped up in a magnificent sound track of old and new music, often ominous and dramatic.
The well-chosen shots reveal the power mountains exude. In the long shots, people look tiny. The low-angle shots show the immensity of the mountains and the high-angle shots show us the spine-chilling heights. More and more people are taking up mountaineering. Reaching a mountain top is seen as an awe-inspiring achievement, requiring skill, perseverance and, above all, courage.
Mountain gives us not only sensational shots of mountains and an insight into the dangerous challenge they offer, but also draws on archive footage to guide us through the cultural history of our fascination with these high peaks.