Mink Machine

Banff mountain movie festival

Banff is more than just the sound of Nightcrawler. It is also a town in Canada which runs a film festival during one week every year. Yesterday evening offered a selection of the best movies from that festival, held at venerable venue Draken here in Gothenburg.

I often enjoy this kind of short movies. If you put your heart into the making, it can make the whole difference. For instance, the old Everest IMAX movie had a big budget and by chance happened to be present at the tragic accident in 1996, but it was still boring and uninspiring. On the other hand, I saw Touching the void on the Gothenburg Film Festival in 2004, a re-enactment of a disastrous climb in the Peruvian Andes. I guess their budget was a tenth of the IMAX film, but the result was far greater.

Here are the films I saw:

  • “The Ultimate Ride” features Steve Fisher and his crazy pals who set out to go kayaking in mighty Zambezi River south of the Victoria Falls. Felt like a mix between Ty Pennington and Jackass.
  • “A Life Ascending” followed ski guide Ruedi Beglinger, who has chosen a life outside the ordinary. He lives isolated in his self built cottage on a remote glacier in the Selkirk Mountains, reachable only by helicopter. Quite touching.
  • “Into Darkness” by John Waller follows three men who explores an underworld cave in the middle of nowhere. I was reminded of my cave descent in New Zealand, but these guys are the real deal. Not recommended if you suffer from claustrophobia.
  • “Last Paradise” was a shortened cut of a documentary following the emerge of extreme sports. We see old footage where a bunch of mavericks invent the snowboard, enhance the design of regular surfboards, explore remote glaciers in New Zealand and so on.
  • “The Swiss Machine” is about Ueli Steck, a crazy alpinist who speed-climb steep faces. I mentioned him earlier in Adrenaline inspiration as parts of the documentary is available in YouTube.
  • The evening ended with one of my favorite short films regarding traveling: “The Longest Way” by Christoph Rehage, who walked across China from Beijing to Urumqi, while growing an insane beard. I mentioned it last year in The bearded journey and the film is available on YouTube.

If you get a chance to see them, they are well worth a view.

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