Welcome to Six Damn Fine Degrees. These instalments will be inspired by the idea of six degrees of separation in the loosest sense. The only rule: it connects – in some way – to the previous instalment. So come join us on our weekly foray into interconnectedness!
There is apparently no shortage of movies set on or around mountains, mountain climbers and peak-seeking adventures in recent years according to my initial IMDb search. Yet when Julie asked me to follow up on her lovely piece surrounding Jon Krakauer’s book Into Thin Airfrom last week, I felt hard-pressed to find such movies that I had truly enjoyed (or let alone had seen). Wouldn’t the glorious scenery of mountain peaks, the thrill of the climb, the horror of the fall and the brave men and women surviving all of that lend themselves ideally to dozens of great screenplays?
Ever watch a film made in a place you know very well, only to find that the movie’s geography doesn’t make any sense: that street does not lead to that bridge, and how would you get from this church to that square – which isn’t even in the same city? Join Sam, Julie and Alan as they discuss three films – Dick Maas’ serial killer schlockfest Amsterdamned (1988), Michelangelo Antonioni’s London-based mystery thriller Blowup (1966) and the Bern-based scenes in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), the sixth Bond adventure – that were filmed in their metaphorical back yards. What kind of expectations, experiences and disappointments come with seeing your home town on the big screen? And what’s the relationship between real geography and movie geography?
We thought long and hard about whether we wanted to put musical excerpts in our podcast episode on movie soundtracks, but in the end we decided against it – not least because these pieces should be heard in their entirety, and they tend to work best when you listen to them along to the respective scenes from the films they’re from. So, below you’ll find our picks and some more of our thoughts about these wonderful tunes and composers.