Tag Archives: Bergfilm

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S.O.S. Iceberg

10,030 words

Editor’s Note:

This is the fourth and final part (for now) of Derek Hawthorne’s series on the German “mountain films” of the 1920s and 30s. See the author’s review of North Face for an overview of this genre, its principal characteristics, and why it should interest readers of Counter-Currents.

1. Introduction: From Vertical to Horizontal

S.O.S. Iceberg is not a mountain film. Read more …

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Storm over Mont Blanc, Part 4

5,229 words

Part 4 of 4

11. Death on Mont Blanc

Act III of Storm over Mont Blanc begins in the aftermath of the death of Hella Armstrong’s father. Hella and Prof. Armstrong had come to visit Hannes, the lonely Wetterwart, atop Mont Blanc. Read more …

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Storm over Mont Blanc, Part 3

3,750 words

Part 3 of 4

7. Ascending and Descending

Storm over Mont Blanc divides neatly into three acts. Read more …

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Storm over Mont Blanc, Part 2

2,421 words

Part 2 of 4

3. Above the Clouds

Storm over Mont Blanc opens, appropriately, with shots of the mountain itself and of Hannes’s cabin, situated high above the clouds. (Fanck’s working title for the film was Über den Wolken, Above the Clouds.) Read more …

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Storm over Mont Blanc, Part 1

2,154 words

Part 1 of 4

1. Introduction

Stürme über dem Mont Blanc (1930; literally, Storms over Mont Blanc) is my favorite of the Arnold Fanck mountain films. Read more …

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The White Hell of Pitz Palü, Part 2

5,257 words

Part 2 of 2

“It was only a narrow crevasse in the Palü Glacier,” Johannes Krafft says, “but it reached far down into the darkness.” In a flashback, we see Maria Krafft at the bottom of the crevasse. Is she unconscious, or dead? “There — an urgent cry for help came out from the icy depths — Maria was still alive!” We see Krafft peer over edge, but he can see nothing. He ties his rope to his pick, sticks it deep in the snow, and climbs down into the crevasse. Read more …

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The White Hell of Pitz Palü, Part 1

4,097 words

Part 1 of 2

1. Introduction

The White Hell of Piz Palü (Die weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü, 1929) is considered by many to be the finest of Arnold Fanck’s mountain films. As pure cinema, this may well be the case. Though the film does not have quite the philosophical richness of Fanck’s The Holy Mountain, there is definitely more here than meets the eye. Read more …

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The Holy Mountain, Part 2

5,169 words

Part 2 of 2

4. “Diotima’s journey into the mountains”

Due to the film’s many delays and mishaps, UFA called Arnold Fanck back to Berlin at a certain point and informed him that The Holy Mountain was canceled. Read more …

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The Holy Mountain, Part 1

4,959 words

Part 1 of 2

1. Introduction: “A Lofty Humanity and Eternal Blondeness”

The Holy Mountain (Der Heilige Berg, 1926) is the greatest of the German “mountain films” and the prototype for all the rest. Read more …

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North Face:
The Return of the German Mountain Film

6,841 words

North Face is the English title of the film Nordwand, originally released to theaters in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in 2008. It is based on the true story of two German mountain climbers, Toni Kurz and Andreas Hinterstoisser, who in 1936 braved the dreaded north face of the Eiger. The only one of the film’s stars who may be familiar to American audiences is Benno Fürmann, who appeared in The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin, 2000). Read more …

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