Coming from directors Peter Mortimer, Nick Rosen and Roadside Attractions is the story of what it takes to be fearless, beautiful and see the world through the eyes of THE ALPINIST.
Alpinism is the discipline of climbing big and technical mountains. Large scale expeditions conquered the highest peaks in the world. Soon, it became how you got to the top that became the rage. That was the next step to go bigger and better but be a solo alpinist.
That is where we meet Marc-Andre Leclerc, a young man who has made his way to becoming an alpinist but doing so in the most unusual way. Graduating high school, Marc goes to Squamish in Canada, and everyone begins to notice the young man who makes alpinism a thing of beauty.
Admitting to falling into the drug scene, he came to understand that climbing is what he needed more than the drugs. Girlfriend Brette Harrington, he found more to life through her love of climbing as well. Now, he is ice climbing and more people begin to notice that he seems to be unfazed by what he is doing and does so beautifully.
The Stanley Headwall is a challenge but one that Marc-Andre seems to see as a wonder in his eyes. Clear about his goal, the wall is a mixture of snow and rock, but he does so using just picks and his ability to remain calm.
He sees his climb as fun and memorable yet everyone else sees what he has done as a stunning accomplishment. Speaking about his life growing up in Chillawack, he speaks about life and adjusting to a life where he does not actually fit in. So, his mother introduced him to the forest, books about the big mountains and climbers. This is where the love of it all begins, and it continued as he climbed everything he could get his hands on.
Then he dropped out of sight and off the grid.
It was only through social media did everyone realize he was everywhere! Finally, they find him and girlfriend Brett, climbing rock faces having the time of their lives. Keeping his life to himself, they shock came when they discover that Marc-Andre was at the top of Mount Robson on the Emperor’s Face.
Finally, Marc-Andre explains that climbing alone is an experience being immersed in your environment and having a crew would make it a very different experience. Explaining his thought process, other climbers agree that it is a dance.
Now, family, friends and other climbers are beginning to wonder if the young Marc-Andre is pushing the boundaries into danger. That is not stopping him from eyes the range of mountains in Patagonia. In El Chatain in Argentina, groups gather to go winter climbing. This time he is allowing one camera man but only to a certain point and then Marc-Andre would take over documenting by himself.
Documenting the climb, he speaks about the snow, rocks and the way he is taking and how bad the conditions are. As blizzard conditions set in, visibility is next to nothing, but the climb is still incredible.
Thinking the film was over, the story is not finished.
Other speakers include Austin Siadak, Will Stanhope, Alan Stevenson, Jon Walsh, Jason Kruk, Jim Elzinga, Ryan Johnson, Alpinist Terry Blanchard, Alpinist Historian Bernadette McDonald, Reinhold Messner, Alex Honnold, Ice Climber Will Gadd, Ice Climber Raphael Slawinski, Alpinist Jon Walsh, Hugo Acosta and Mom Michelle Kuipers.
Roadside Attractions has, since 2003, grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award nominations. They have had critical and commercial hits such as MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, BEN IS BACK, BEATRIZ AT DINNER, HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS, WINTER’S BONE and THE COVER as well as so many others. For more information of what Roadside Attractions has to offer please visit www.roadsideattractions.com.
THE ALPINIST is an interesting look at a young man’s journey doing what he loves. There is also the stark realization that climbing both ice and rock is a dangerous way of life. The danger of it all is documented by some of the worlds most celebrated climbers meeting a fate on the mountain.
This is one man’s story filmed for us all to see the majesty of the mountains, the love of doing something most of us can hardly imagine doing and those who return again and again. We are allowed into a moment in time to learn about the young man who will always have an impact on being an alpinist.
It is not just a film about climbing, it is a film about the difference between those who talk about doing things and those who actually go out and challenge themselves to face it all. It is about taking a dream and making it a reality with simplicity, grace and beauty which is what Marc-Andre Leclerc did – just ask anyone who spent time with him.
In the end – his passion for the mountains was everything and more!