Fellow Movie Lovers
NORTH FACE (NORDWAND)………………………Soon to be released.
Do not miss this exhilarating, enervating, “fasten the seat belt” German film!
It revolves around mountain climbers and their quest to conquer the unfathomable summit of the Eiger Mountain (in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland, 13.025 feet).
This true saga occurs in July of 1936, three years into the diabolical reign of Adolf Hitler and the Berlin Olympics. German climbers Toni Kurz (Benno Furmann, Joyeux Noel) and Andi Hinterstoisser (Florian Lukas) at the peak of their climbing aptitudes, take on the “murder wall” a euphemism for the Eiger’s north face.
Director Phillipp Stolzl has created a masterpiece! It is thrilling, visceral and breathtaking; you cling to your neighbors whether you know them or not.
Stolzl filmed in refrigerated studios duplicating the hazardous and constant fluctuations in weather that climbers have to adapt to; the rugged landscape shares equal billing with the actors.
Watching this fascinating film I questioned the intense allure of height that the Eiger, or any mountain inspires in men. The mountain so cold, and impenetrable yet with magical powers to attract and addict the climber; a colossal challenge, a goddess so desperately beautiful, but like the fabled Turandot, attainable only if you pass her test, with lethal consequences if you fail.
The mountain holds the same irresistible mystique for women, compelling them to match their physical wits against the mountain’s incredulous demands.
Women have been scaling the heights for years! In 1964 German, Daisy Voog was the first woman to reach the Eiger summit via the north wall.
Junko Tabei (1939-) in 1975 was the first woman to reach the highest pinnacle of Mount Everest, the Burj Khalifa of heights! Tabei is the Director of the Himalayan Adventure Trust in Japan. For fifty years women have been testing their might and flirting with the travails of Mt. Everest.
K2 in Pakistan the second tallest mountain after Everest was conquered by Wanda Rutkiewicz, a Polish scientist and electrical engineer born in 1943. She disappeared in 1992 while climbing Mt. Kangchenjunga in Nepal.
Julie Tullis of Britain and Liliane Barrand of France, reached the summit but lost their lives on the descent: testimony to the treacherousness of the descent.
These female athletes do not share the same recognition as their male counterparts (Sir Edmund Hilary, Tenzing Norgay, Reinhold Messner, even Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea) but their courageousness is undisputed.
It is a mystical, spiritual force, a love of solitude and the power of the will that magnet-like marries man and mountain; the duration of the partnership is unimportant; just its consummation. The Chinese poet Li Po writes:
Alone Looking at the Mountain
All the birds have flown up and gone:
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by
We never tire of looking at each other
Only the mountain and I.
North Face triumphs in crystallizing this union!
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