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Monday 4th November saw the London Premier of Alastair Lee’s film, ‘The Last Great Climb’. A wonderfully inspiring documentary about adventure climber Leo Holding’s expedition to climb the North East ridge of Ulvetanna: The Wolf’s Tooth, in Antarctica.

I was privileged enough to attend the premier; privileged enough to see and experience the enthusiasm of Leo and his team consisting of:

Leo Holding – Expedition Leader

Sean ‘Stanley’ Leary – Lead Climber

Jason Pickles – Climber

Chris Rabone – Support Climber

Al Lee – Film Director & Photographer

Dave Reeves – Cameraman

The atmosphere right from entering the cinema held a real buzz of positivity, passion and friendliness. How often do you feel that upon entering a room full of strangers?

Winding my way through the incredibly good looking and fit crowd (well it was full of climbing enthusiasts!) I sought out my old school friend Jason (or ‘Pickles’ as we all used to call him – original nickname hey..?!). He was nervous and confessed to not particularly liking being in the spotlight. This is understandable from a well grounded, northern town lad. Jason was and always is very humble about the opportunities that come his way.

After a few more words of encouragement, which no doubt didn’t help to ease his nervousness(!), Jason went off to have some press photos & the rest of us were ushered into the screening room.

We were given a short introduction by Ben Fogle who was then joined by the climbers. A few words from Leo followed about the 3 main objectives of the climb which were,

1) To successfully climb the NE ridge & summit Ulvetanna,
2) To make a film about the climb and,
3) To have a safe expedition and ensure everyone comes back home safely.

All three were thankfully and amazingly achieved. In celebration of this fact a well deserved bottle of champers was opened in a rather unique fashion by Leo and enjoyed by the team.

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On to the film…

Simply put, it was absolutely brilliant. It captures the essence of the stunning landscape, the team, their talent, their humour and their personalities beautifully.

The film footage & photography had been edited fluently with the teams personal thoughts and reactions interspersed with the finesse and technicalities of the climbing. The knowledge of adventure filming and skill required from Al and Dave (as well as the teams cooperation) to produce this footage was definitely not underestimated. The final effect was that of space, peace, beauty, skill, friendship and ultimately an appreciation of life.

There was humour mixed throughout, even when conditions seemed to be fighting against their climbing. It was this humour and the tight bond of friendship, trust and humility that makes this wonderful viewing. I wanted to cry at times; definitely not through sadness but from feeling heart-warmed and exhilarated. It really honestly touched me. This, alongside the fact that the whole team are so lovely, decent and inspiring really moved me.

An open Q & A session with the team hosted by the legendary climber Doug Scott  CBE, rounded off the evening, giving us more insightful stories about the trip and the teams thoughts and feelings.

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After managing to have a final quick work with Jason, I left the theatre with a feeling positive and inspired!

Amazing. On to the next climb…

The Last Great Climb DVD is available from the 1st of December. It can be preordered & purchased through Al Lee’s company Posing Production’s:
http://www.posingproductions.com/product.php?form_action=detail&product_id=257

Blog & photos of the climb available here:
Climb Details: http://www.berghaus.com/en/ber_2011/staticpages/ulvetanna/ulvetannaiframe.html

Ulvetanna Blog: http://www.berghaus.com/community/?cat=210

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Fashion and the Fashion Film

I watch quite a number fashion videos. Most of them are ace; well written, well directed, amazing cinematography and of course beautiful styling and clothes.

I love how the fashion industry has crossed the border in to film. I think it was only a matter of time until this happened The runway shows are films in themselves and there is SO MUCH much creativity and imagination within the industry that it is therefore only natural that the designers and design houses create specific videos and films to showcase their collections.

 

Prada – A Therapy by Roman Polanski

Movies and movies stars combine to show their love for Prada. Stunning clothes, awesome actors (Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley) . This is just fantastic! No other words…

 

 

 

 

Chanel Haute Couture A/W 2012 by Trevor Undi

This film is one of the best I have seen. It is actually a runway show, but as I said above these shows are complete and thorough presentations and works of art in themselves. I absolutely love the hard editing, the sound, the music, the lighting… Superb!

Watch it via Business of Fashion:

Control

I have decided that the film ‘Control’ about the band Joy Division, staring Sam Riley, is one of my most favourite films.
I watched it again last night for maybe the 4th or 5th time. The acting is fantastic, the direction & pace captivating. As sad as the story is, I actually think it inspiring & hopeful. Now many may not agree with me, but I see life in it even though there is depression & death. Ian Curtis probably had more experience in his short life than many of us will have in our whole lifetime. And I’m talking about emotion & feeling & expression here. All of which is displayed though the music & songwriting. Amazing.
What made the film even more special for me, & has nothing to do with the film, is that I watched it last night with a friend & he thought it a great film too. It’s so good when that happens; when something you totally love is appreciated, understood & liked by someone who means a lot to you. Somehow it seems to confirm that they understand you & get what makes you tick. Also the shared appreciation is most satisfying & warming.
So, if anyone is actually reading this post & thinks they may fancy watching it, then you should. See if you feel the life in it.
I’ll even provide a link for you to purchase it right now…!
Hope you like it.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddvd&field-keywords=Control&x=0&y=0

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