Thursday 24 March 2016

Film Review: Life of a Mountain: Blencathra by Terry Abraham

For over a year Terry Abraham has been working on the second in his trilogy of films on iconic Lake District mountains. The first one, Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike, was a huge success, breaking viewing records on BBC4 and receiving enormous praise. Could Life of a Mountain: Blencathra live up to its predecessor? From clips I’d seen, and knowing how hard Terry was working and how inspired he was, I expected it to be at least as good. I was wrong. It’s much better. Terry has surpassed himself.

The film doesn’t receive its premiere (long sold-out) until May and Terry wants to keep much of it a surprise until then so there’ll be no spoilers here. After the premiere I’ll review it again and comment on some of the aspects that really delighted me. For now I’ll just say that there are indeed surprises – despite having seen clips there was much I wasn’t expecting – but at the same time it’s what could now be called a typical Terry Abraham film in that it has the majestic sweeping landscape shots and awe-inspiring time lapse sequences we’ve come to expect. In this film they are more impressive than ever with what seem like richer colours and more depth. There are some very effective aerial shots too. 

The film covers a year in the life of the mountain though this isn’t explicit. It’s something you realise gradually realise as the film progresses and the landscape slowly changes. There are many fascinating people in the film, mountain people and local people though overall the emphasis seems more on the first than in the Scafell Pike film. The score, again by Freddie Hangoler, is evocative and fits the filming perfectly.

Perhaps the highest praise I can give the film is that, having noted its two-hour running time, and not liking watching movies on the computer monitor that much, I thought I’d take a break half way but ended up watching it straight through as the time just flew by. The pacing of the film is just right, each sequence not too short or too long.

Without doubt this is Terry Abraham’s best film to date. I want to see it on a big screen now!

1 comment:

  1. Very much looking forwards to seeing this. I met Terry at the KMF a couple of years ago and his enthusiasm and passion for what he does was clear. What a talent.