Winning An Oscar
I was watching a documentary last night about a blind man who climbed Everest. Now, I’m not even going to go into how and why he did it, there was something else though that it triggered in my brain.
When you watch something like this then you’re pretty sure how it’ll end. And it did end like you’d expect, with a blind man stood at the top of the world, whilst everyone else was tearful and full of ‘whoops’ (they were American after all).
What if, about halfway through the show, he fell hundreds of feet to his death. And then for the next 30 minutes the camera stayed on just one shot of his corpse lying in the snow. One 30 minute long shot of a man lying dead in the snow.
At first you’d be shocked, your heart pounding in your chest. But how long would you watch? You’d probably assume that he’d get up or that someone would come to help him. But after about 5 minutes, you’d realise that was it. He was dead. Then you’d start to wonder what the hell was going on. Why are we watching a dead man? What’s going on? Who made this?
But you’d remember it. You’d lie awake that night without being able to think of anything else. I think it’d probably make you look at the world in a different way the next morning. A horrific way maybe, but then again life isn’t all roses and sweeties, is it Mr.Happygoluckyface. Is it? Eh?
This made me think of something similar I thought of when watching Touching The Void. Now, even though it’s a good film and interesting to see how the bloke got through his ordeal, you know he survives as he’s a talking-head over the film. He talks about what he faced throughout the documentary so you know that it’ll be a happy ending. But again, what if he falls to his death early on in the film? It cuts to this guy who had been talking as if he was the climber, and he’d say something like “and that’s when I fell off the mountain and died.” Then he’d stare directly at the camera, with maybe a single tear rolling down his face. It’d fade out and you’d see the climber’s body, mangled upon the rocks. And for the next hour it would just be a series of shots from different camera angles of this cadaver. Maybe, towards the end we use time-lapse photography to show his body decaying. Fuck, this is an Oscar winner!
I was wondering how long people would stay around in the cinema. If I had made such a film and was hiding behind a curtain, what would I see? Would people leave visibly upset? Would people vomit? Would they get angry and storm out demanding to see the cinema owners? How long would people stay? How would this make me feel hiding behind my curtain?
And that is what I thought of whilst watching Touching The Void.