Dec 4, 2009

Guy With A Library Card: Issue 02

Kiss the Sky
Written by M

Adventure. Just the mention of the word creates a mountain of possibilities. The mind wanders and you think of all the things that thrill you without any reason for this thrill. For some people it's tales of old with pirates or cowboys, for others, it's the realization that you are about to jump out of a perfectly good plane. As a young boy I was faced with an object that made these thoughts without mentioning a word. To this day when ever I see an image, a movie or am immersed in the wonder of mountains I escape in my own adventure.

A while back I was reminded of this boyish adventure but this time I connected it with the drive to be a filmmaker. I became familiar with a video called 911 by Jules and Gadeon Naudet. Typically I don't go for documentaries that seem like they might be new age propaganda. Yet this one had a specific allure I couldn't pass up and I knew the library would have it. This film was to have the only footage of the first plane hitting the World Trade Centre. The brothers just happened to be doing a documentary on how hard it is to become apart of the NYFD. They just happened to be on the street a few blocks from the World Trade Center and just happened to hear a noise and point the camera to it. The unexpected part was that, rather than taking a propagandist view, the film continues as an experience, as they travel with the NYFD and into the buildings as they fall, literally. It is likely the most intense movie I have ever seen and it seemed to escape most people's radar.

This documentary reminded me why I do what I do. I love the idea that my work in film and video can have such a profound meaning to so many. Most of all I love the idea that anything can happen. It makes the process a bit of an Adventure. After I watched this I couldn't help but think how I would have loved to be one of the Naudet brothers. Coming out of this experience having my life change, knowing how adverse I am, how capable I am and the thought that I could hold my composure through such extreme conditions. This very real possibility is one of my main attractions to documentaries, the “can you imagine?” being there for that moment, being fortunate enough to record it and share it.

On an off chance I saw a couple mountain documentaries sitting on the library shelf. One of them titled Everest Mountain of Dreams Mountain of Doom also reflected this want for adventure. A series of television and an award winning film all about touching the sky. If you look past the cheesy 90's production and outfits it really makes you want to reach the top of Everest. In my mind it seems like a very basic adventure, a “Where is the highest place on earth?” with answer and then response “Let's go there because we can.” The documentary concentrates on the pioneers who have tried conquering the summit, the climbers who got there and the issues they had, including two grisly pictures of two people literally frozen to death, frozen in position and frozen so badly their bone is exposed.

In the race to reach the top of Everest I couldn't help but think how it relates to my time in life right now. Particularity with this article. This is a first for me, writing this article, like climbing Everest, it will have challenges, and like many climbers it will take several attempts, some will make it and some will fail. But this is life. Anything worth doing is worth failing at several times, and for the one time you reach your goals, you do come away with that connection of who you are by learning new capabilities and pushing your limits while trying only to succeed the last effort.

I always like to explain Saskatchewan as a place of utopia. Thinking about the first explorers going through the hell that is the Canadian shield without proper technology and then finally reaching the prairies and thinking “Thank God”! Only to continue on and eventually see the Rockies and think “Crap!” or something much worse. Or maybe they were like me and just dumbfounded in the awe of something so spectacular that your mind wanders in a world of adventure. I guess what I am trying to say is, inspiration is sparked by adventure. Whether it is completely unrelated to what you do all you need is a starting point. When you begin something an adventure awaits, your own creativity boils and you'll soon realize that the two somehow cross a parallel path.

FYI- First Man to summit Everest: Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay
First Woman: Junko Tabei
First Without Oxygen: Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler
The top of the world is located at Latitude 27° 59' N, Longitude 86° 56' E and peaks at 8850m
Other recommended viewing: The Man Who Skied Down Everest
My next viewing: Everest: Beyond the Limit.

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