Review by James Lindorf
In the 2016 documentary “La Liste,” free-skier Jérémie Heitz compiled a list of some of the Alps’ most iconic peaks and then skied down them at record-breaking speeds. For the sequel “La Liste: Everything or Nothing,” cameraman Sam Anthamatten has been upgraded to partner, and the duo has a bigger and faster challenge in their sites. “La Liste: Everything or Nothing” Is currently showing as special events around the United States and much of the world. You can find one near you on the film’s official website.
In the grand tradition of being easier said than done, the plan in “La Liste: Everything or Nothing” is simple but dangerous. Sam and Jérémie made a new list of high-altitude peaks, each above 6,000m aka 19,000+ft, that would take them from the Andes in Peru to the Karakoram in Pakistan. This trip of a lifetime would take steep-skiing to a new level and redefine what it means to be a free-rider if they survive. The documentary joins them on their final stages of preparing for their mission and follows them through successes, failures, altitude sickness, and devastating accidents in the pursuit of greatness.
Like many extreme sports documentaries, including “The Dawn Wall,” “Free Solo,” and “The Alpinist,” the success of “La Liste: Everything or Nothing” guarantees two things. The first is cinematography that is jaw-droppingly beautiful and capable of tying your stomach in knots. In that case, “La Liste” is a triumph. The movie features some of the most beautiful and inspiring drone shots and uses of natural light that I have ever seen. At the same time, other scenes take your breath away in a completely different way. It is incredibly tense to watch Sam and Jérémie walking a razor’s edge with certain death to each side of the uncertain path they are forging. The second guarantee is that you will watch a group test the boundaries of what people can do. How much you want to cheer them and invest in their mission is based on the individuals. Sam and Jérémie are passionate, thoughtful, and entertaining throughout despite their adventure’s physical and emotional toll.
“La Liste: Everything or Nothing” is a beautifully photographed film but may suffer in its relentless pursuit of a goal. There are two monumental moments in the middle of the film, and everything that follows feels lesser because of it. Maybe they could have crafted a better overall film if they changed gears then and followed a new path, but we will never know. As presented, “La Liste: Everything or Nothing” is a 3.5 out of 5 and a solid watch for genre fans but may lack the strength to pull in casual fans.
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