Touching the Void - Wikipedia
Touching the Void may refer to: Touching the Void (book), a book by Joe Simpson. Touching the Void (film), a film based on the book; Touching the. "Touching the Void" is the most harrowing movie about mountain climbing I than feet, well, then, he will literally be at the end of his rope. Just finished watching Touching the Void, an engrossing and moving . While the plot is based on the events, the Nordwand movie was.
Having successfully ascended the West Face of the Siula Grande despite set-backs due to weatherusing the 'Alpine' climbing method, Yates and Simpson turned their minds to descending the challenging North Ridge. It was at this point when the attempt started to go from difficult to disastrous, as Simpson slipped on an ice cliff, falling and landing in a way that crushed his tibia shin-bone into his knee joint, thus breaking his right leg.
After much deliberation, the pair decided the best way to descend would be for Yates to join two foot ropes together and slowly lower Simpson.
Touching the Void Movie - What Options Did He Have?
Because of the ropes' joining knot, Simpson would have to place his weight onto his good left leg every feet. With visibility dwindling due to stormy conditions and night time approaching, Yates accidentally lowered Simpson off the edge of a cliff.
Because of his position in relation to Simpson, Yates could not hear or see him. Simpson decided to attempt to climb up the rope using a Prusik knot, but this went from difficult to near-impossible when he dropped one of the cords needed to ascend the rope. Simpson was left hanging off the cliff for a long time. This was a very bad scenario, as Simpson was not only unable to climb the rope, but Yates was stuck on soft snow which was likely to give way, most likely pulling them both to their deaths.
Yates made the tough decision to cut the rope to save himself from being dragged to his death. Simpson then plummeted into a deep crevasse, of which there seemed to be no escape. Yates, suffering from exhaustion and hypothermia, dug himself a 'snow cave' to shelter from the storm. The day after, Yates continued to descend the mountain reaching the crevasse.
After shouting for Simpson with no reply, Yates came to the conclusion that Simpson was dead. As a story it has an almost mythological force. It also confronts you with a number of moral conundrums and comparisons.
Was Yates right to cut the rope? Why didn't he check to see if Simpson was dead?
'Touching the Void' climber says director burned him with one-sided story
Would I have survived if I had been in the same situation as Simpson? Or would I have just curled up and died?
But it also presents us with some big themes: Ultimately it is - to use that trite but accurate Hollywood phrase - a story about "the triumph of the human spirit".
Since it was published in two years after the events actually happenedthe film rights for Touching the Void had been owned or sought by myriad film producers. Werner Herzog tried to get it, Frank Marshall, the director of Alive and producer of numerous Steven Spielberg films, wanted it The reason seemed obvious.
The book consists almost entirely of internal monologue - the two climbers barely speak throughout their ordeal, and during the crucial stages are in fact separate. How do you make an accessible film out of that? My solution, of course, was to make it as a documentary - to throw out the book itself and go back to Simpson and Yates and the third incidental character, Hawking and get them to tell the story afresh.
I was worried that so long after the event - and having talked about them so often - they would tell the story in a dry, unspontaneous way. Only if the interviews work, would it be worth continuing with the film.
These concerns turned out to be unfounded. The story was still very much a live issue for all three characters. In some odd way they were all still in thrall to what had happened over a few days so long before. Whether they admitted it or not - and two of them didn't - in my opinion the events on Siula Grande continued to shape their lives.
So the heart and skeleton of the film was already there. But what about the flesh? The only option was a technique that sent shivers down my spine: In film, I believe things should either be documentary or drama. If there is a tendency in modern television I hate, it is the unstoppable march of the dramatic reconstruction to tell the stories of anything from an ancient Egyptian battle to the early life of Paul Gascoigne. That was my biggest fear: The answer we came up with was simple: Keep the documentary element the interviews straightforward and make the dramatic elements feel as real as possible, filming in a naturalistic style with good actors and no apologies.
Would audiences buy an actor playing Simpson if they had just seen the real person? Who would they empathise with? I really had no idea. The plan was to do all the wide shots in Peru, on the real location, and then return to the Alps to do the stunts and close up work with the actors. Simpson and Yates were persuaded to accompany us partly so that they could show us where and how things had happened, and partly because, since we hadn't yet cast our actors, they seemed to be the best people to double for themselves.
We were also interested to capture how they would react to returning to Siula Grande, given the associations it had for them. Yates was absolutely level-headed about it.
He had already been back to the area a few years previously, and insisted that this trip meant little or nothing to him psychologically. Having seen how he reacted to the story in interview, however, I wasn't sure I believed him.
Superficially, Simpson was much less confident about returning.
It was obvious from the moment we met him at the airport for the flight to Lima that he was genuinely nervous. He was wearing a T-shirt which read "The last one dead's a cissy", and swallowing beer after beer.
As our plane approached Lima, an extraordinary thing happened: The sight filled us all with awe - all except Simpson, who merely said: I had sometimes wondered if Simpson had exaggerated his ordeal.
The diary - in which the whole story unfolds in its raw, unfiltered state - confirmed that every aspect of it was true.
I was struck, however, by a couple of things. In the diary, Simpson and Yates come across not as the gnarly, hardened professionals of the book, but as young men sometimes out of their depth and often scared out of their wits. It's exactly what you'd expect, of course - and made me understand them so much better.
Another revelation made me laugh out loud: It ends with a very funny, honest account of a misjudged and unsuccessful sexual approach to them. From Lima we travelled for 12 hours by bus to the town at the end of the road: Cajatambo, high in the foothills of the Andes, where we spent three days acclimatising.
Simpson told me that the nearer we got to Siula Grande the more he began to be overwhelmed with an irrational notion. His life, he said, had been blessed ever since he'd left Siula Grande; he'd made a name for himself as a writer and found happiness in his personal life, but now, coming back here, he was filled with an overwhelming dread that maybe, with the circle complete, his good fortune would disappear.
The next day all our gear - cameras, clothes, costumes, food for a month - was divided into 20kg loads to be carried by 70 donkeys up to the base camp. The only thing that couldn't be broken down into a donkey load was the electric generator. Instead, four short, wiry men - two of whom appeared to be the wrong side of 50 - set off carrying it suspended between wooden poles.
Over the next few days I wheezed and huffed and puffed my way slowly along the mountain paths.
'Touching the Void' climber says director burned him with one-sided story
Every time I felt sorry for myself - carrying a little day-pack filled with water and a spare jumper or two - I'd think about the poor men carrying that generator. By the time we had reached the base camp, at around 16,ft, I was wondering what had possessed me to think I could make this film. Yes, I had rather half-heartedly joined a gym to get fit before coming, but I hadn't been more than a few times.
And I was really suffering now. But this was soon the least of the problems, as my relationship with Simpson and Yates began slowly to unravel.
Our base camp was a minute walk from the one Simpson and Yates had chosen back in