February 25, 2013

180 Degrees South

Chris Malloy, 2010


A quick watch 90 minute documentary about a group of buddies trip to Patagonia, South America. The trip is inspired by the same journey made in the 60's by Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins, the founders of Patagonia gear and The North Face. They bring a camera along for the ride as they mountain climb, surf and hike... and the result is a life insurance actuary's worst nightmare. Cinematography was done by Daniel Moder, that proved to be a good grab because there is really impressive camera work in this film. I am a sucker for time lapse shots and there was a beautiful one of a South American city skyline with an orange luminescent glow to it. The camera work as they are mountain climbing is also really impressive, they must have had the camera roped off behind them. What's most impressive is all of the amazing footage of the Patagonian mountains and the countryside itself. I am not a beach guy, and THIS would be my version of paradise. There is a cedar-shake cabin that reminded me a bit of a Vermont sugar shack that I would move into in a SECOND if I had the chance. There is a message to the film, the push for Land Conservation in South America. Also a lot of anti-industrialization and anti-urbanization dialogue. That message seemed to be a little blurry and was distracted by the other elements of the film. I really liked the B&W hand-sketch overlay's that they show, along with the old footage from Chouinard's/Tompkin's original trip that is overlaid periodically throughout the film. Overall, its good Nature Porn with enough activity that it would appeal to adrenaline junkies/adventure sports fans.