Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Asia, Death, Doc, Mystery, Peace, Poet, Review, STL |

At the Tivoli
(in St. Louis)
12:15pm – 2:25 – 4:40 – 7:20 – 9:30


[for me the mountains will always bring me back to Mount Analogue & Ilarie Voronca’s “mes amis mes montagnes” – my friends my mountains]

If you can do it, why do it? — Gertrude Stein

The grass is always greener somewhere else, and  the mountain always higher…
Why do we need to move? Restlessness, exploration? The French poet Rimbaud spoke of the “nervous twitch of action”…
What does it mean to be “driven”?
What is “rational madness”?
Can you ever be so alive that you die?
The three friends featured in the riveting “documentary-thriller” know all too well that true friendship means togetherness and hardship – here during one of the most elusive first climbs in the Himalayas.
The suspense is so physical that, even while watching this film in an armchair, one may feel both exhilarated and exhausted.
We all know that what goes up must come down – and the deadly danger is always terribly present – yet these particular ascents are particularly uplifting as Conrad Anker writes: “Even when we’re suffering, whether it’s in the mountains or because of something going on at home, trying situations are a way to understand our human condition. You have to try to rise above the adversity. I like doing that.”
For taking you relentlessly to the edge – in the same league as Touching the Void – the least we can do is make the trip to the theater! — Pier Marton

Conrad Anker – Climber

Jimmy Chin – Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Climber

Renan Ozturk – Cinematographer, Additional Editor, Climber

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi - Director, Producer

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Director, Producer

The New York Times OpDocs Climbing the Shark’s Fin in August 2015

The MERU Trailer

(Director Statements)

“I’ve spent much of my life in the mountains as both a climber and as a professional photographer. I always wanted to make a film that gave an audience the visceral experience of going on a difficult alpine big wall climb. I hoped to give people a glimpse of the stakes, the risks and sacrifices involved.

But I also wanted to show that following your passions is not always a beautiful thing. It can be fraught with internal conflict, doubt and intractable compromise. I often ask myself: Where do you draw the line between following your heart and your responsibility to others?

When you’re making a movie on a mountain, the camera is an added appendage; one you often wish you didn’t have to carry. While shooting MERU, it was a real struggle just to keep the two small cameras we carried from getting destroyed.

I always say the rules of filming on a mountain climb are fairly straightforward. Shoot whenever you can. Don’t hold up the team. And don’t drop the camera.”

—Jimmy Chin

“As someone who isn’t particularly comfortable with heights, it was important for me that MERU be more than just about mountain climbing. It’s a truly personal story, one about pursuing one’s passions, though in this case those passions are unusually extreme.

In these kinds of stories, people often get caught up in the accomplishment, but there’s another side, of course. Being married to Jimmy, I’m especially interested in what the female characters in the story—the ones back home, often wringing their hands—had to say. How did they tolerate the risks these climbers, their closest family members, take as part of their professional careers? What drove their lives, and what kept them steady?

Despite the fact that this film reaches an apex of 21,000 feet, I felt MERU had to also remain firmly on the ground.”

—Chai Vasarhelyi

#stlouis #documentary #film #climbing #adventure #suspense #Himalayas