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Climber Alex Lowe, ‘The Power of Dog’ and Omicron Blues Buster Now Showing
Tuesday, January 18, 2022


Alex Lowe, a friend of many in the Wood River Valley, will have his story told on the big screen at Magic Lantern Cinemas this week beginning Jan. 21.

Lowe’s story, told in “Torn,” will start Friday, running aside two other movies curated by cinema owner Rick Kessler. They include “The Power of the Dog” and “What’s Up Doc?” which will be screened free of charge.

  • The movie “Torn” tells the story of Lowe, a handsome charismatic climber who found a kindred spirit and climbing partner in fellow alpinist Conrad Anker. In 1999 Lowe, Anker and cameraman David Bridges were part of a North Face expedition attempting to summit Tibet’s 26,289-foot Mount Shishapangma.

    A massive avalanche struck while they were crossing a snowfield underneath the face of the peak, killing Lowe and the photographer while Anker barely escaped.

    In 2016--17 years after their deaths--Lowe’s and Bridges’ bodies were discovered and Lowe’s family journeyed to the remote Himalayan mountain to recover their remains.

    The movie, made by Lowe’s son Max of the family’s intense personal journey, is hailed as a “profoundly intimate and deeply moving” documentary of fatherhood, love, loss and resilience. It includes archival footage of Lowe’s adventures, home movies and emotional interview with brothers Sam and Isaac, Conrad Anker and Lowe’s widow Jennifer, whose colorful whimsical paintings are often featured at Kneeland Gallery in Ketchum.

  • Netflix recently requested a theatrical screening for Jane Campion’s “The Power of the Dog” so that everybody could see the movie’s portrayal of the grandeur of the West as it’s meant to be seen. And Kessler was happy to oblige.

    The film, which has accomplished the rare feat of making it onto every critic’s top 10 list, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as a charismatic rancher who responds with mocking cruelty when his brother brings home a new wife and her son. Until the unexpected comes to pass, that is.

    Campion, an Oscar winning writer and this year’s L.A. Film Critics Best Director, illuminates the hidden truths hiding in plain sight in the movie, which co-stars Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst and Kodi Smit-McPhee.

  • With the Omicron Blues sweeping the nation, Kessler decided we all could use a laugh right now. And, so, he is offering a free screening of “What’s Up Doc?

The late Peter Bodanovich’s hilarious homage to the 1930s screwball comedies of Howard Hawks and Preton Sturges stands out as one of the great, if semi-forgotten comedy masterpieces of the 1970s.

The 1972 movie stars Barbra Streisand, Ryan O’Neal and a supporting cast that includes the absolutely hilarious Madeline Kahn of “Blazing Saddles” fame in her first major motion picture. It revolves around Dr. Howard Bannister, an Iowa musicologist, who goes to San Francisco to compete for a research grant where he runs into a trouble magnet who begins to pursue him.

It just so happens four parties staying in the same hotel are carrying identical plaid overnight bags—one with Dr. Bannister’s musical rocks; another with top -secret government papers; one with valuable jewels, and the fourth with the trouble-magnet’s clothes.

See the movie to see the rest of the story.

Go to  for showtimes.

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