We have just returned from a brief overnight trip to London to attend a rather special event – the ‘IMAX preview’ of this amazing film which is not due for release until 6th August. The film – which was ’26 years in the thinking and five in the making’ was directed by Anthony Geffen, our daughter Ruthie’s boss at Atlantic Productions; Atlantic Productions was working with Altitude Films with the active involvement also of National Geographic.
We are still full of our experience. The IMAX cinema at the Science Museum was an adventure in itself, with a screen the size of I forget how many double decker buses. We were warned beforehand to shut our eyes if we started to feel seasick…
The film essentially is about climbing Everest, with two men, Conrad Anker and a young British climber, Leo Houlding – trying in 2007 to reach the top the way they felt George Mallory would have gone had he/if he reached the top in 1924. There is the the human drama as, against the backdrop of the overwhelming splendour of the mountain, as men struggle against overwhelmong odds – the extreme cold, altitude sickness and exhaustion, but spurred on always by their ‘wildest dream’ of reaching the summit.
But these are ordinary men, too, with families and wives they love and who love them, and for whom they yearn while on Everest. To add poignancy to the love element, the voice of Mallory’s wife, Ruth, was provided by Natasha Richardson shortly before her death after a skiing accident, and the narrator of the film is Liam Neeson, her widower. (Ralph Fiennes provides the voice of George Mallory.)
I hope I have relayed the facts reasonably accurately (I’ll have to ask Ruthie to check it over). Anyway, the film – and the reception afterwards – was a wonderful experience for both John and me; then, in no time it is back to work/normal life for everybody! And we always feel, however much we have enjoyed ourselves away, it is always lovely to come home. And it was particularly lovely this time, to be welcomed in for a cup of tea by our guests in Douglas’s Barn.