Matthew Lickona noon, July 29
The Man Who Skied Down Everest
Sports documentary on a daredevil expedition by the Japanese athlete, Miura, to ski in the thin air of Mt. Everest's summit. It lacks the suspenseful immediacy of a Wide World of Sports special event on ABC-TV, but it has the advantage of a high-quality, crisp, wide-screen image. And it is, like a skier, lean and finely balanced; it doesn't overplay any of its elements -- the sightseeing, the mountain-climbing, or the skiing. The narration -- excerpts from Miura's diary spoken in English by Douglas Rains -- is pretentious throughout, but is really annoying only in the stream-of-consciousness stuff during the movie's climax, where it creates a real strain between the visual point-of-view (the objective reporter) and the verbal point-of-view (the first-person protagonist). The breakneck downhill climax is quite exciting enough to do without the dramatic reading, and, if anything, you'd prefer to do with a frantic sportscaster's commentary by Jim McKay. Produced by F.R. Crawley, James Hager, and Dale Hartleban. 1975.