The 72nd Venice Film Festival opened on the Lido on Wednesday evening with director Baltasar Kormakur's mountaineering adventure, Everest. A bone-chilling escapade on the world's highest mountain in 1996 that left eight climbers dead has been captured with splendid detailing -- albeit in a fictionalised version -- in Everest.
Speaking just before Everest screened, Kormakur told a media conference that he did all he could to make his movie as realistic and as exciting as possible. They imported snow from Holland to shoot in England's Pinewood Studio. "It was the real stuff, minus 60 degrees; when we were shooting at Pinewood, we blasted it in their faces as hard as we could. I wanted the actors to respond to the environment," Kormákur averred "The more you draw from reality, the more likely you are to get reality."
Everest has actors Jason Clarke and Jake Gyllenhaal as Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, leaders of rival expeditions on the mountain. Both died in the tragedy.
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Kormakur admitted that he had put his team to a lot of hardship, but the result was worth the effort.
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Gyllenhaal, who was also present at the meet, added that he had met Fischer's children before the shoot and listened to what they felt about their father. "When you are re-creating something that actually happened, you have a tremendous responsibility. Scott's children contacted me directly, and it was a beautiful thing to feel him through them."
(Gautaman Bhaskaran is covering the 72nd Venice Film Festival.)