May 27
MOUNTAIN FILMS….SCALING NEW HEIGHTS by Julie Ann Nunez  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Fri, May 27, 2011

Some of us admire the wonders of nature, including the majestic and picturesque mountains all around us. And there are daring men and women who are challenged to explore it… thus the adventure they call mountain climbing.

Even in the art of film or cinema, there is a film genre called a mountain film. But few filmmakers have dared to feature or use mountains in movies. In, view of this, a research on mountain films might be of some help.

According to, a mountain film is a film genre that focuses on mountaineering, usually focusing on the battle of man against nature. In addition to mere adventure, the protagonists in these films return from the mountain changed, usually gaining wisdom and enlightenment (so true!!).

Following are some mountain films:

Bergfilme, the first mountain film produced in Germany, depicting the ascent of the Mont Blanc by the American climber Frank Ormiston-Smith, was released in 1903. Some critics describe the German mountain film as an indigenous national/cultural genre, comparable to the American western.

Third Man on the Mountain (1959) filmed in Zermatt, Switzerland and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film, set during the golden age of climbing the Alps, is about a young Swiss man who conquers the mountain that killed his father. The story is based on Banner in the Sky.

Si Ken Annakin ang siyang nag-direct ng movie at isang professional rock climber ang kinuha nila para makunan ang maraming climbing sequences. Ang mga artista ay nagkaroon ng dalawang linggong climbing training bago pa ang shooting.

La Montaña Sagrada (1973), translated as The Holy Mountain and later reissued as The Sacred Mountain. Ang director nito ay si Alejandro Jodorowsky na siya ring actor, composer, set and costume designer ng pelikula. Ito’y ibinase sa Ascent of Mount Carmel by St. John of the Cross and Mount Analogue by Rene Daumal (student of G.I. Gurdjieff).

The film was produced by The Beatles manager Allen Klein, at ipinalabas sa iba’t-ibang international film festivals noong 1973, including Cannes. It had limited screenings in New York and San Francisco.

Mount St. Elias, a 100-minute Austrian movie produced and directed by Gerald Salmina . Three skiers—Axel Naiglich and teammates Peter Ressmann and Jon Johnston—are depicted as they attempted to ski down the longest run in the world on the 18,008-foot Mount St. Elias.

Ang Mount Saint Elias ang second highest mountain sa Canada at sa United States. It lies about 40 kilometers (25 mi) southwest of Mount Logan (the highest mountain in Canada.)

Pure & Virtuous Traverse is a 10-minute film from Canada. Produced and Directed by Greg Hill, the film is about the journey by ski to the Selkirk Mountains in British Columbia of Greg Hill, North America’s most active ski mountaineer. His goal was to ski down from Mount Purity to Mount Virtuous in five days.

Race to Witch Mountain (2009), a science fiction adventure film and remake ng original 1975 fantasy film with the same title. Both versions of the film were based on the 1968 novel of Alexander Key. The film was directed by Andy Fickman and starred Dwayne Johnson, Anna Sophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig, Ciarán Hinds and Carla Gugino. Ito’y ni-released noong March 13, 2009.

A convention center in Pomona, California was converted into the film’s UFO Expo 9, and the interior of Witch Mountain was based on photographs from a tour of NORAD’s Cheyenne Mountain.

Humingi ng tulong si Director Andy Fickman sa mga UFO experts, military and CIA advisers. Introducing sa pelikulang ito ang bagong E.T. creature na tinawag na Siphon. The creature was designed by the same team that created Alien and Predator in the film Alien vs Predator.

Actually meron din specialized film festivals of mountain films. Isa sa mga dito ang Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival which began in 1982. It is a charitable non-profit cultural event.

The Williamstown Mountain Film Festival began in November 2001. The filmfe aims to bring quality, mountain oriented films to the Berkshire region of Massachusetts, kung saan idinadaos ang festival taon-taon.

From cinematic mountain climbers, let us discuss Filipino mountain climbers who had attained international recognition kahit hindi pa naisasa-pelikula ang kanilang exploits.

One great example is Romi Garduce, also known as “Garduch”, a Filipino mountain climber who works as an IT Professional in Procter and Gamble Philippines. Nagsimula siya mag-mountain-climbing for a cause in 1991 as a member of the University of the Philippines Mountaineers (UPM).

Nang maabot niya ang summit ng Mount Kilimanjaro noong 2002, he became the first Filipino to climb one of the Seven Summits.

On September 26, 2005, he became the first Filipino to ascend Cho Oyu, the highest mountain peak to be scaled by a Filipino.

On May 19, the Himalayan Database, published by the American Alpine Club, included Romi Garduce in the list of Everest South summitteers for 2006.

May 17, 2006, si Leo Oracion ang pangalawang Filipino na naka-abot sa peak ng Mount Everest thru the South-Nepal route where he even planted the Filipino flag.

Another Filipino climber, Dale Abenojar, was able to reach the summit and became the First Filipino to scale Mount Everest from the North-Tibet route. Officially noong May 15, kinilala bilang kauna-unahang Filipino on top Mount Everest.

(Next week: Mountain Climbing…Just Like in the Movies)

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