The Epic of Everest

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Showing: SUNDAY 12th October 2014 at tbc

Released: 1924

Re-released:  18th October 2013

Sponsored by:  Chairman’s Choice


Audience Reaction 89%


Certificate UUKUK 87 mins Documentary/Adventure


Director: J. B. L. Noel

Stars: Andrew Irvine, George Mallory

The film will be preceded an illustrated talk by Robin Ashcroft, a mountaineer with over 30 years climbing experience in the UK and abroad (the Alps, Norway, the Canadian Rockies, Antarctica and Central America). Robin’s CV includes roles as Director of Development for the Kendal Mountain Festival, Manager and Curator of the National Mountaineering Exhibition and Vice-President of the International Alliance of Mountain Film. He is a member of the Royal Geographical Society, and an author and photographer.

Joe Beaumont, a climber, born and raised in Lincoln but who now lives in Kendal in the Lake District, will give a short talk and introduce his 10 minute film ‘In the Frame, Little Chamonix’.

In March 2011 Joe, an experienced climber, fell 40 metres off a rock face in the Lake District. Though his injuries were incredibly severe his resilience and determination kept him alive and he began a very long and painful recovery whilst undergoing multiple operations on different parts of his body. Just over two years later Joe is learning to walk again, learning to live with his disabilities and formulating big plans! ‘In the Frame – Little Chamonix’ follows Joe as he takes his first steps back on the rock.


The official film record of the legendary Everest expedition of 1924 is one of the most remarkable films in the BFI National Archive. Its release coincides with the 60th anniversary of the final conquest of Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. The third attempt to climb Everest culminated in the deaths of two of the finest climbers of their generation, George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, and sparked an on-going debate over whether or not they did indeed reach the summit. Filming in brutally harsh conditions with a hand-cranked camera, Captain John Noel captured images of breathtaking beauty and considerable historic significance. The film is also among the earliest filmed records of life in Tibet and features sequences at Phari Dzong (Pagri), Shekar Dzong (Xegar) and Rongbuk monastery. But what resonates so deeply is Noel’s ability to frame the vulnerability, isolation and courage of people persevering in one of the world’s harshest landscapes. The restoration by the BFI National Archive has transformed the quality of the surviving elements of the film and reintroduced the original coloured tints and tones. Revealed by the restoration, few images in cinema are as epic – or moving – as the final shots of a blood red sunset over the Himalayas. A newly commissioned score composed, orchestrated and conducted by Simon Fisher Turner (The Great White Silence) features a haunting combination of electronic music, found sounds, western and Nepalese instruments and vocals. Restoration supported by The Eric Anker-Petersen Charity

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