89) Mt Everest (1953)
The first attempt on Everest took place in 1922 by a British team led by George Leigh Mallory. What happened is an extraordinary story full of controversy, drama, and incident, populated by a set of larger-than-life characters straight out of an adventure novel. I spoke with Mick Conefrey about this story.
Bio: For thirty years I've made documentaries for the BBC and all the major British and US channels. I've been everywhere from the Arctic to the Himalayas to Angkor Wat and written books on mountaineering and exploration.
I've been lucky to have been able to film all over over the world from Cambodia to K2, from Puerto Rico to Spitsbergen. I'm particularly interested in films about exploration and mountaineering, and have filmed in the Alps, the Himalayas and Alaska. Several of my films have won international and British awards, at festivals such as Trento, Telluride, Banff and Kendal.
As both a film maker and a writer, I'm fascinated by the art of narrative. I love to find good stories with complex characters dealing with even more complex situations. My definition of good drama is what happens when people are put under pressure, and exploration and mountaineering provide plenty examples of this. My heroes: John Hunt, Graham Greene, Robert Siodmak, Tom Woolfe, Alexandra David Neel, Tom Wolfe, Orson Welles, Ella Maillart, Sir Richard Burton, John Banville, Don Cherry, Lucinda Williams. My current squeezes: Jeanette Winterson, Bobby Womack, Jo Nesbo, Carla Bley.