BOSTON — Audiences will scale the breathtaking Swiss Alps when the large-format film The Alps opens in the newly renovated Mugar Omni Theater on February 29, 2008. This powerful film centers on one man’s quest to conquer the infamous North Face of the Eiger. Located at the core of the Alps, the Eiger is one of the world’s most celebrated, yet treacherous peaks. “Against a backdrop of overwhelming beauty, The Alps is a true-life story of extraordinary courage,” says director Stephen Judson. The Alps follows the journey of John Harlin III, who literally follows in his father’s footsteps.
Sponsored locally by The MathWorks, The Alps will show exclusively in Boston in the newly renovated Mugar Omni Theater from February 29 through June 15, 2008 (the film will run through September 1, 2008). “The spirit of discovery is fundamental for the scientists, students, and engineers who use our software,” said Jeanne O’Keefe, Chief Financial Officer, The MathWorks. “And the Museum of Science captures the excitement of learning and exploration. We hope many people will be drawn to the outstanding IMAX® film series — including ‘The Alps’ — in the weeks and months to come.”
About the Film:
Forty years ago, Harlin’s father, John Harlin II, long considered one of America’s best mountaineers, set out to forge a bold new route straight up the Eiger’s 6,000-foot face. Approaching the summit at 4,000 feet, Harlin’s rope broke, and sent him plummeting to a tragic death that would shatter the lives of his family. Just nine years old at the time, John Harlin III has been haunted by the Eiger ever since.
In The Alps, Harlin faces his fears and honors his father’s legacy on a climb that is both an intensely personal and a physical achievement. Through this expedition, Harlin learns why his father came to love the Alps, its rich history, culture, staggering beauty, and its people. Accompanying him are his German climbing partners: contemporary climbing stars Robert and Daniela Jasper.
“The Eiger held a part of my soul captive for forty years, and with this trip I was able to set myself free,” says John Harlin III of his achievement. “I always felt I had to do this climb, and yet the thing that I really came back with is that it’s my family that is the most important thing to me. Having climbed the Eiger North Face, I can now revel in spending time with my family more than ever.”
The making of The Alps was a vastly ambitious undertaking that involved a team made up of climbing luminaries, hardy mountain guides and award-winning nature cinematographers. Featuring some of the most spectacular giant screen imagery ever seen — captured by intrepid helicopter and mountaineering crews — the film celebrates both the unsurpassed beauty of the Alps and the indomitable spirit of the people who live, climb and explore there.
Though the production was filled with uncertainties, ranging from how the weather might shift to whether Harlin and the Jaspers would ultimately make it to the summit, the story could not have been captured any other way. Sums up Judson: “The risk factor was high, but the results speak for themselves. It will be amazing for audiences to have the chance to get so close to climbers on the Eiger North Face. Like the best experiences, it was intense but so rewarding.”
Pioneering filmmakers MacGillivray Freeman, and producers of the blockbuster hit, Everest, are the creative talents behind The Alps. The film is presented by Holcim and Switzerland Tourism in association with Four Eyes 4iS. It is directed by Stephen Judson, executive produced by Alex Biner, and produced by Greg MacGillivray and Mark Krenzien. Brad Ohlund is the director of photography, Michael Brown is director of mountain photography and Ron Goodman is director of aerial photography. The film’s score features the powerful songs of rock legends Queen in collaboration with award-winning musical composer, Steve Wood. Renowned British actor Michael Chambon, best known to film audiences for the role of Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, narrates The Alps.
The Alps shows exclusively in Boston in the Mugar Omni Theater from February 29 through June 15, 2008. It will run through September 1, 2008.
Admission to the Mugar Omni Theater is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 +) and $7 for children (3 – 11). Evening Omni Discounts are available daily, after 6 p.m.: $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for seniors, and $4.50 for children. For more information or to purchase tickets in advance, please call 617-723-2500, 617-589-0417 (TTY), or visit mos.org.
Swiss Menu at Science Street Café (Fridays, 6:00 � 10:00 p.m. for a limited time: February 29 through March 28, 2008)
To complement an alpine adventure in the newly renovated Mugar Omni Theater, the Museum’s Science Street Cafe will offer an exclusive menu of Swiss specialties created by Wolfgang Puck Catering. A prix-fixe menu ($21 per person) includes a raclette-stuffed onion with fruit compote, crisp rosti with smoked salmon, braised beef short ribs, and cinnamon baked apples, among other selections. A special “après-alps” drink menu includes swiss hot chocolate and kirsch vodka martinis. Children’s and regular menu choices will also be available.
More About John Harlin III:
John Harlin III grew up in Leysin in the Swiss Alps, where his father, John Harlin II, founded the International School of Mountaineering. After his father’s death, John returned with his mother and sister to the United States, where he has been an active mountaineer, skier, adventurer, editor, and writer. After stints writing climbing guidebooks and serving as an editor for Backpacker and Summit magazines, Harlin is currently the editor of the prestigious American Alpine Journal, the journal of record for new mountain routes worldwide. He has made first telemark and first ski descents, climbed new routes, and made first river descents in such places as Peru, Bolivia, Tibet, Alaska, Canada, the Alps, and throughout the United States.
More About Robert and Daniela Jasper:
Members of an elite class of extreme mountain climbers, Robert and Daniela Jasper have assembled an impressive list of climbing accomplishments including ascents of the North faces of the Eiger, the Matterhorn and Grand Jorasses, and expeditions to Cerro Torre, Nuptse East and Denali. Together, they have made first ascents on some of the most difficult routes, including the “Symphonie de Liberté” route on the Eiger North Face and the “Betablocksuper” route on the largest ice fall in Europe. With 14 successful attempts on the Eiger to his credit, Robert Jasper is fondly known as Dr. Eiger. Of German origin, the Jaspers live at the foot of the Eiger.
More About MacGillivray Freeman Films (www.macfreefilms.com):
MacGillivray Freeman Films is the largest, most experienced independent producer and distributor of IMAX theatre films with more than 30 giant screen films to its credit. Throughout the company’s 40-year history, the company’s films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations. The company’s1998 blockbuster hit Everest achieved unprecedented acclaim and box office success and is the highest grossing giant screen film of all time. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of the natural world.
More about the newly renovated Mugar Omni Theater
Since first opening its doors in 1987, the Mugar Omni Theater has welcomed more than 15 million visitors. Thanks to a generous donation from David Mugar and his family, the theater has undergone a major transformation. Renovations took place from September 4 – December 22, 2007 and include a 420-panel Premium Seam Dome made from custom-cut, powder-coded aluminum panels, which will improve film viewing by providing a smooth projection surface virtually invisible when films are projected on it. The upgrades also include programmable theater lighting — which includes an LED system — as well as a digital video projection system that accommodates a wide range of media including live feeds of televised events.
Mike Morrison: 617-589-0250 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Sofiya Cabalquinto: 617-589-0251 or email@example.com;