Tuesday, February 27

Joe Simpson - New Film?

I first came across Joe's writings, as most of us have done I suspect, in his sublime book "Touching The Void".

I was an early convert to Joe's ability to articulate the almost incommunicable. Later books never had quite the same impact. After all how could they match such an extreme subject? But they have always been thoughtful and insightful works. Always worth savouring.

The Void film was one of those pieces of work that crossed boundaries, reaching out to the non climbing/walking fraternity. And it was even recognised with a BAFTA in 2004. A rare treat for a non Hollywood, true story, documentary type film.
It also opened up a lot of old wounds for Joe from what I read after the release.

I hunted high and low to get to a screening of the Void. Unsurprisingly it wasn't a huge box office draw on the south coast cinema scene (non climbing you see) and at one point I thought a trip to Keswick would be the only way to get to see it.

In the end I managed a special 'one day only' showing locally. And that event was worth the ticket price alone.

Let's accept the film met my approval.
But as to the real highlight of that day. Aat one point, as Joe is describing his injury in gory detail, one of the film goers fainted.

Now bear in mind the nature of such a crowd, who like me had really searched to get to see this film. Outdoor enthusiasts en mass.

So a cry of "Any one got any first-aid experience?" was met with a huge surge as half the audience clambered over the seats to get to the already recovering patient.

There must have been more certified first aiders in that one group than down the local St John's Ambulance and Red Cross put together that night.

Helpful lot us outdoor types. And always willing to practice our skills. On anyone really.

Well back to the plot. All went quiet after the release of the T.T.V film, but I've spotted that the same team are just about to start filming "The Beckoning Silence" based on Joe's book of the same name.

I'm looking forward to this one already. Might even take my first-aid kit with me to that showing. You never know when it might be needed.

I saw Touching the Void at a charity screening up in London (fecking hate the place), but Joe was also there to do a Q&A afterwards. Fantastic evening.
I'm envious- always wanted to meet the guy.
Good post.
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