All last year, I hit the repeat button over and over on the video for the song, “My Soldier” by the indie rock band Highasakite, from Norway. I discovered the tune when I attended a screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival in my hometown (the actual film festival is in Banff, of course, but they do a world tour in which they bring the films to various towns across the US, as well as abroad). It was part of the soundtrack for the 31-minute film Eclipse, which won Best Film in the Snow Sports category of this annual film competiton in 2015.
I could try to describe the film for you myself, but this quote from the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s website says it best:
The odds are low, the risks are high – photographer Reuben Krabbe is determined to capture an impossible photo of a skier in front of the 2015 solar eclipse in Svalbard, Norway.
Up in the high arctic though, the weather is bad and the pressure is massive. To add to the difficulty of the project, the guide is sketchy, there’s an active polar bear out there somewhere and the group of skiers that accompany him just want to ski.
A hallmark of so many of the films in the Banff film competition is that they combine breathtaking cinematography with cutting-edge music. This is not only fitting (the sports and exploits featured in these films are cutting-edge, so shouldn’t the music be too?), it intensifies the viewer’s experience. You can get a feeling for this if you click on the YouTube video of the Eclipse film (embedded above, the second video in this post) and point your cursor to the 26:50 time mark. That’s the point at which “My Soldier” starts playing, the skiers conjunct with the solar eclipse, and Reuben Krabbe captures what surely must seem the longest of long shots with his camera. Altogether, it’s magic!