by George Wolf
“How big a screen ya got?”
That’s what you need to be asking for Mountain, a nature documentary that puts the breathtake in breathtaking.
Director and co-writer Jennifer Peedom provides a majestic canvas for the truly stunning cinematography of Renan Ozturk, gracefully pondering the evolution of humankind’s quest to climb upward.
Intermittent narration from Willem Dafoe dots the landscape of footage from the world’s highest peaks, and though the writing seems overly dramatic at first (“the holy or the hostile…nothing in between”) the sheer grandeur of what you’re seeing quickly demands nothing less.
From swooping aerial shots featuring tiny specks of humanity to tight, miraculous skiing sequences a la Warren Miller, Mountain beautifully reminds us how truly small we remain. For those enthralled by such things (my hand is up) it might as well be mountain porn, questioning our fascination even as it’s feeding it.
But again: big screen.