A spiritual journey Into The Mind

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Many have written about the connection between mountains and mysticism – the way that through exploring the mountains, we are able to be in the present moment, or what Eckhart Tolle has called The Power of Now; the spiritual dimension. Few have captured this sense of the Sublime successfully on film.

From the meditative opening sequence of Into The Mind by Sherpas Cinema (in which a smoke-shrouded guru spins a Tibetan prayer wheel in slow-mo) the viewer is taken on a metaphysical journey as an unnamed skier climbs a knife-edge ridge weighing up when, where and why to drop in. As the skier’s partner exclaims, “It’s right on the edge”. Into the Mind ponders the questions that can only be answered at the edge of existence: as the protagonist navigates the lines between annihilation and affirmation.

Divided into thirteen chapters, the film delves into the thought process behind the skier’s pursuit of a penultimate peak. A stellar cast of snowriders’ segments drive a non-linear narrative of flashback, flashforward, dreamscape and memory. Standout sequences from Callum Pettit, Xavier de la Rue, Kye Petersen, Ian MacIntosh, Tom Wallisch, JP Auclair and Angel Collinson remind the spectator of how pushing the limits in the mountains can lead to an intense sense of vitality, and even self-transcendence. The film’s huge production values enable stunning cinematography – sweeping shots from multiple helicopter cams, a renegade street-jibbing chase scene and hypnotic night sky time lapses – which all contribute to the magical spell Into the Mind casts over the viewer.

The film’s New Zealand premiere screened to a packed house at Cinema Paradiso in Wanaka on September 30, and is now touring around the country. Co-director/athlete JP Auclair and athlete Callum Petit recently collected a swag of awards on behalf of the Sherpas, including Film of the Year and Best Editing at the International Freeski Film Festival (IF3). To see this movie is to be awe-inspired, and gifted a sample of what philosopher Edmund Burke (back in 1757) called the “delightful horror” of the ‘Sublime’: the way the terrifying beauty of primeval and dramatic landscapes incites a sense of astonishment and wonder within those who explore them. As another Edmund (that being Sir Ed Percival Hillary) said more recently, “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.”

– ANNABEL WILSON

Catch Into The Mind at a venue near you:

1st October, The Find Bar, Queenstown

2nd October, The Terrace Bar, Dunedin

3rd October, Winnie Bagoes, Ferrymead, Christchurch

10th – 20th October, The North Island

Tickets are just $20, including a free drink, available from NZSkier.

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Official teaser for Into the Mind

 

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