Everest VR – The Movie Experience (Jonathan Griffith, 2019)

My experience of climbing Mount Everest in May 2020

Facing this kind of risky expedition, I have always positioned myself right in between a feeling of fascination for people who want to experience something genuine and strong once in a lifetime, and a serious feeling of repulsion for the same people who do not hesitate to play with life which is precious.

Everet VR – The Movie Experience is the fifth virtual reality short film I have had the opportunity to view in the comfort of my room with the catalogue of ten films proposed by the Phi Centre thanks to the “PHI VR TO GO” event created specifically during the lockdown. I invite you to watch the gorgeous trailer which will leave you out of breath on YouTube rather than on this blog. Don’t forget to set up the quality of the image to the highest, and to move the screen with your cursor for the best experience.

“Only 175 people have ever stood on earth’s highest point without the use of bottled oxygen. Whilst Sherpa Tenji has already summited Everest without the use of bottled oxygen before, would he have what it takes to do it again? Follow him as he climbs higher and higher into the Death Zone, an area that contains so little oxygen that his body cannot survive for long. Join them for one of the most immersive adventure experiences ever captured.”

Synopsis of the film from the website of the Phi Centre

I believe in fate, except for when I write. This film is a pure wonder of technology, and it is quite rare for me to say so! Choosing such a documentary subject has been the boldest move to justify the use of one of the most recent technologies of our era, as well as to display all the facets of virtual reality! For us not to feel nauseous, the film is not too long. It lasts the right amount of time for us to be immersed at the heart of the oppressing mountains to accompany day and night Jonathan Griffith (who also has to carry his virtual reality material in addition to the equipement related to this tough expedition) and his partner Sherpa Tenji, who have both taken on the challenge launched by their dear friend, Swiss alpinist Ueli Steck, who died in the Nuptse area on April 30th 2017 at the age of 40. What is particularly striking in this short film is the extraordinary diversity and beauty of the landscapes, and colorful bright shots which add to our feeling of immersion in the mountains to the point where we almost fear for our own life, as well as for the lives of the two hikers! Sometimes, it is better not to look down, as the virtual reality equipment can be positioned either attached to the body of the hikers when the latter are crossing a deep hole on a ladder placed horizontally, or either directly on the heights! This is scary! The music is equally beautiful and worth a fiction feature film soundtrack. And I am not even talking about the changes of atmospheres…! What a technological success! The visuals are so impressive than Griffith’s voice-over almost acts as a source of distraction throughout the film. Nevertheless, I have come out of this experience with chills of happiness all over my body, ready to climb anything in the near future. I give this film five stars.

Virtual reality illustrates wonderfully the philosophical and anthropological aspect of the film here. Up to where will one be ready to go to experience such a feeling…?

References

Head image: https://www.everestvirtualreality.com

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