180º South (Chris Malloy, 2010): U.S.A.

Reviewed by Kazimir Berman. Viewed at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

Right at the part when the star of the film, Jeff Johnson, becomes shipwrecked off Easter Island my friend sitting next to me puts his hands against his face, expressing his amazement of what he is witnessing on screen. Again and again he repeats “no way, no way!”. He was loving it, and so was every one else at the Arlington that night. The Film followed by a session for question and answer with the entire cast and crew.

In 1968 Yvon Chounard and Doug Tompkins, traveled the 5000 miles from California to Patagonia together to find peaks unclimbed and waves unsurfed. The equipment they used for rock climbing and the clothes that kept them warm , they made themselves. They documented their journey.  The film has only recently been reviewed by Jeff Johnson. Yvon and Dough are his heroes and there is nothing he would wish for other than to follow in their footsteps. Jeff Johnson sets off to South America via the Pacific ocean, his ship wrecks off of easter island, the crew is forced wait there until they find a way to repair the boats mast. There at Easter Island Jeff meets a beautiful native named Makohe.

Jeff and his crew, and Makohe become friends so she is invited to join them on their trip further south to Patagonia. Makohe accepts, they miraculously fix their mast with a ancient boat mending technique and they are off again into the deep blue.

Cameras were placed on helicopters, brought up the wall of El Capitan Yosemite. Pushing the limits of where and what a camera can do. In the name of conservation there was pulled back angles of vast mountains, forest and jungle, as well as open ocean. Woodshed films is known for good editing and music as well. 180 Degrees South was no exception boasting a soundtrack featuring artists from Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records. There was also some very well done animation done in the film by Geoff Mkefridge.

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