Everyday Activist - Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19: Red Program Part 1

Posted on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 10:00 PM

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19: Red Program Part 1

Movie Review by Everyday Activist X CalgaryMovies.com

It’s that time of year again when the Banff World Tour comes through Calgary. In this article I added an extra film, because it was along the lines of aging well, something I’ve been a touch obsessed with achieving. Enjoy!

Break on Through

I’ve never understood the appeal of rock climbing, once I discovered caving. Cracked, bleeding fingers as you try again and again to make it up the same slab, doesn’t appeal to me at all, though my eight year old nephew, Avi, enjoys climbing. We’ve started on the bouldering wall going through technique as well as constantly repeating movement sequences. At some point I’ll retake my belay test, for him to climb on the big wall on graded routes once he develops some more strength and skills.

At age eight Margo Hayes started out as a gymnast reaching elite levels, marking her determination, athleticism and talent. Given the popularity of climbing in Colorado, her studio shared space with a climbing gym, which grabbed her attention luring her away from gymnastics. Climbers have to have an incredible amount of strength, flexibility and stamina to make it up tough routes, usually progressively developing skills climbing with peers outside. Because Margo obtained her skill set in the climbing gyms on the national team rather than outdoors, understandably no one expected her to be the first woman to climb a 5.15 leading the way for other women to break through the glass ceiling.

What I loved most about this film was the support Margo received from everyone. Her friends cared enough about her to save her from herself by calling it a day, though she wanted to keep climbing. This was in sharp contrast to Free Solo, where the people closest to Alex Honnold, weren’t overly supportive. He makes a small cameo appearance in this film too, along with Chris Sharma and Lynn Hill, who was also a gymnast as well as the first woman to climb a 5.14, back in the early 1990s.

The FrenchyFor the Love of Mary 

After two serious accidents, I looked at sports where people in their 80s could still be competitive. Ballroom dancing came to my mind, since my coach, in his 60s, is dancing better than he ever has. I never thought about adventure sports or running being aging friendly. Both of these films challenged my bias. At 82-years old, Jacques Houot, The Frenchy, still ski races and mountain bikes using his age and European charm to flirt with women of all ages. George Etzweiler, a 97 year old runner stays true to his late wife’s memory carrying her with him as he breaks his own age record for the oldest person to run up Mount Washington. My own parents in their 60s have trouble walking to the store!

Neither of these men need walkers, though they have benefitted from modern technology. George says in the film that he doesn’t wear a heart rate monitor, because he has a pacemaker and has requested that his running teammates make sure that he’s dead before calling for help. What impresses me is that most runners have problems with their knees, but the film made no mention of any joint issues. Jacques has faced many near death experiences ranging from his health, including a heart attack and cancer as well as circumstances such as an avalanche and car accident. Each time he comes back vibrant and ready for the next challenge life has in store for him, citing that living a full life is a matter of attitude. My dance coach wholeheartedly agrees with him. Whatever their secrets are, best practices for healthy living remain diet and exercise, as much as we can for as long as we can.

The 2019 Red program can be seen at the University of Calgary on January 15, 17, 20 (matinee), 22, 24, 26, 27.

For more mountain film, Free Solo is still playing at Canyon Meadows and This Mountain Life is playing at the Globe. Check calgary movies for times. On January 27th, the full version of The Moment will be at the Plaza, though the online rental rate is only $5.99 CAD.

Everyday Activist Film Review (CalgaryMovies.com): Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19: Red Program Part 2 > | Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19: Blue Program >

Calgary Local Scene:  Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19 #1 > | Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour 2018/19 #2 >


NOTE: The showtimes listed on CalgaryMovies.com come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to CalgaryMovies.com.