A lavish film centred on England's highest peak will be shown on BBC4 at 9pm this evening. Unusually for a mountain movie, the mainstream press have taken notice - and they love it.
Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike by independent film maker Terry Abraham made a big splash in hillwalking circles last year (see review here); now the film - albeit an abridged 60 minute version - will get an airing in front of a national audience for the first time.
Shot in all seasons and weathers over a twelve month period, the film captures a 'year in the life' (or rather, lives) of Lakeland's highest fell and its surroundings. Terry Abraham's trademark lingering panoramas and moody light are stunning. However it's not all about the mountain, but touches on the lives of those who live, work and play on the hill too.
Life of a Mountain is documentary of the week in the Radio Times, and has made critics choice and pick of the day in various papers. We knew it all along, but here's what the national press have been saying:
- '...a fascinatingly paradoxical film: dealing with an area known for uninhabited space, but boasting a cast as large and diverse as a Dickens novel' The Times, Critic's Choice
- 'This is a moving, poetic film...a vivid portrait with gorgeous photography. A celebration which exudes gladness. Watch it' The Observer, Critic's Choice
- '...one of those plain and simple, knock 'em dead nature documentaries...a complete delight' Radio Times, Documentary of the Week
- 'A beautifully filmed documentary that is good for the soul' Daily Telegraph, TV Highlights
And, trying hard for its regular Pseud's Corner slot, the Grauniad has upped the arty ante even further:
'With it's sweeping cinematography and sonorous score, there's a touch of the art-house classic Koyaanisqatsi about this enchanting documentary focusing on England's highest mountain' The Guardian, Pick of the Day
We caught up with Terry Abraham to find out how he's taking all the attention.
'How do I feel? I'm in a daze at the moment' he told us.
'None of it's sunk in. As far as I was concerned I finished the film months ago and that was that. Then in December I worked on the abridged edit with the BBC and once that was completed, again I thought that was that. It's only in the past few days that it's all come smashing out in my face thanks to the above press reviews.'
'[It's] all a bit scary.'
'I hope that whoever watches tonight will be inspired and enlightened not just to the delights of the Scafells but our countryside in general. Such landscapes are not a playground for action movies. They're places to cherish, conserve and admire! If my film goes someway in helping on that front, then I'll be a very content man.'
Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike airs on BBC4 9pm 14th Jan, and you can of course watch it on iPlayer too