Hugh Bollinger
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Mountainfilm in Telluride

For 18 years, I have participated in the ongoing conversation about mountaineering, social action, and the environment known as Mountainfilm in Telluride. It is a remarkable gathering in the remote San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. I'm always thrilled by the engaged lives of those who come to present their latest thinking represented in books, photography, and documentary films. Their inspirational creativity, dedication, and progressive ideas draw us all back to Telluride like moths to a flame. [caption id="attachment_4363" align="aligncenter" width="1024" caption="MtFilm in Telluride photo credit: SWP Media"][/caption] It's not possible to review everything that happens during MtFilm but here are three films that screened over the Memorial Day weekend that are representative: Magic Trip: the famous 60's road trip by the iconic writer Ken Kesey and his tour bus, Further. The documentary was created from recently discovered archival footage filmed during Kesey's travels, and showed a compelling, if chaotic, view of a period -- now a memory -- and personal adventuring that remains for all time. Happy: was a wonderful and timely exploration of the emerging research from human psychology, neurology, and brain science on the importance of happiness and compassion to daily life. The blended perspectives and happiness case studies should be seen by anyone trying to live in this world of woes. Waiting for a Train: a humorous view of a Japanese guy who fell in love with American country and bluegrass music while still a kid in Tokyo. He now does gigs in the USA. Seeing him singing Jimmy Rogers and Hank Williams tunes in a Texas jam session was worth the ticket price alone. Who doesn't love train songs? Did I mention that the Mountain Film programming is eclectic? I can hardly wait for the 2012 festival reunion. WHB
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