The Man Who Skied Down Everest
Dirs. Bruce Nyznik, Lawrence Schiller. 1975, 86 mins. Archival 35mm print preserved by the Academy Film Archive. Starting from 27,000 feet above sea level, alpinist Yuichiro Miura attempts to descend, by skis and parachute, the world’s tallest mountain. Inspired by a half-joking remark to Sir Edmund Hillary, Canadian filmmaker F.R. Crawley’s Oscar-winning production follows the preparation and final execution of Miura’s death-inviting feat via a ravishingly immersive widescreen approach courtesy of D.P. Mitsuji Kanau. A matter of fact voiceover now and then grounds the proceedings in the presentational conventions of its era, but the hypnotic imagery lifts things to giddily entrancing heights, enlisting the audience in Miura’s own obsessed imaginings.