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Documentary Film Analysis: Touching the Void

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LourlinMarie Lara

on 23 May 2013

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Transcript of Documentary Film Analysis: Touching the Void

Lourlin Lara
p.1 * To retell the story of two friends, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, and the unfortunate predicament that befell upon them when they set out to conquer the unclimbed Peruvian mountains.
* How they recovered emotionally and physically.
* To frighten viewers by nature's merciless power
* Allow the audience to question the morals of loyalty and trust displayed in the film, and think about what they would have done in the situation.
* Show humanity's essential need for companionship/friendship as well as the nature of forgiveness.
* "A triumph of the human spirit"
* There wasn't a true argument/assertion made, but rather what MacDonald hoped to instill in the audience is their own opinions, emotions and responses: Yates' decisions, Simpson's quick forgiveness, "What would you do?". Kevin MacDonald Background Information Touching the Void Purpose of Film * A film directed by Kevin MacDonald
* This documentary film (2003) was based on a book by Joe Simpson.
* The film took place and was shot at Siula Grande in the Cordillera Huayhuash in the Peruvian Andes (1985). * Born in Glasgow, Scotland and raised on a sheep farm in the countryside.
* Under his direction, Touching the Void won the Alexander Korda Award in 2003–04 for Best British Film BAFTA Awards.
* Some other famous films he directed are One Day in September, State of Play, The Last King of Scotland, and Marley, two of which have won Oscars for Best Actor and Best Documentary. Plot Overview * Predicament 1: Joe Simpson fell and broke his leg, leaving his friend, Simon Yates, with the decision to abandon his "as good as dead" friend or attempt to lower him down the mountain, in which Yates chose the latter.
* Predicament 2: Yates unknowingly lowers Simpson into overhang and is now faced with the decision to die with his partner, or cut the rope connecting himself to Simpson which would leave him plummeting to his death.
* Predicament 3: Simpson's miraculous escape from his 100 ft. fall in an icy tomb and his incredible feat of determination to crawl with his broken leg for three days and nights to reach the base camp and arrive in time for rescue from Yates and Hawking (another companion).

http://movieclips.com/7wq2H-touching-the-void-movie-simon-cuts-joe-loose/ Cinematic Techniques * All wide shots in Peru, on the real location, and then return to the Alps to do the stunts and close up work with the actors
* Filmed a lot of the shots on scene 16,000 ft. in the air
* Relies a lot on the natural sounds of the mountain to demonstrate the power and danger of nature's mountains.
* Camera likes to start up close or at a point where it reveals a little bit about a certain scene and then pans out to show the audience what's happening, etc.
* Different tracks of music set to each part of the film in order to set the tone of the director and the mood of the scene Tone/Attitude The tone of the director starts off as optimistic and light-hearted as Joe and Simon successfully reach the top of the mountains. However, throughout most of the film the tone of the director changes to become very agitated and bleak for the most part of the film as Joe and Simon attempt to make a descent down the mountain with limited supply and Joe’s broken leg. Finally, the director’s tone becomes more cheery as Joe and Simon both individually find their way back to the camp and are rescued * MacDonald believed the only way to bring the film to life was through dangerous and risky dramatic reconstruction
* Shows the events in chronological order and adds in slides that tell the what day Yates and Simpson were on while in Peru.
* Gives you interviews from Simon and Joe in the present time who tell their sides of the story as well as how they felt about each situation as the film simultaneously re-enacts their accounts with the mountains.
* The film continues to build up until Simpson's rescue in which the film winds down and becomes more of a reflection. Structure Validity * The argument does have validity in that its main assertions do not only apply to mountain climbing and near-death situations.
* Although the argument follows the story of a dangerous climb, the film also hints at the fact that this success story can be used as inspiration to find our own success stories. We can apply this philosophy of making pressure decisions and looking for the positive in situations to life’s everyday challenges.
* Valid in that it shows human nature, and what a person would do when faced with life or death, as well as the nature of forgiveness and understanding.
* Finding the strength and courage to move on
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