Flirting with Heights

Flirting with Heights

There have been many breathtaking wildlife films, but few attain the sheer virtuosity and poetic force of Jean-Michel Bertrand's Flirting with Heights. This was a remarkable and highly personal project shot alone over the course of four years in the French Alps, initially with the aid of Bourrique (a donkey) and then Mistral (a Pyrenean pony). Bertrand took his equipment to the highest peaks, in all seasons, and waited patiently, for hours, for days, for months, for years. His painstaking discretion allows his camera to capture astonishing images of virtually every living creature in what we come to see as a wonderland: from kestrels and vultures to stoats and mountain goats, from the athleticism of the chamois to the grace of the elusive European golden eagle. The crowning sequence arrives with the first ever shots of the eagles in their eyrie with two offspring which Bertrand observes from early days to first flight. His motto is "observation without interference," his gift to detect and reveal: "It is enough to push open the door, the magic is there, everywhere."

And his ally in this creative work is light, "this light which cloaks the world in magic." Bertrand's camerawork is exceptional, his patience monumental--three years alone to capture the images of the eyrie. Shots of trees in spring and autumn, of patterns in snow and of snowfall, of peaks at sunrise and sunset, in clear light and in mist, are the equal of the work of the most gifted artist. And throughout there runs, like the pure mountain streams we see, the perfectly synchronized score of Jacob Vinje. In answer to Cousteau's work under water, comes Bertrand's film from the mountains. As he exclaims at one magical moment: "Here at last are the longed for images."

— Vancouver International Film Festival

Flirting with Heights

Sun April 22, 2012, 7:00 & 9:00, Muenzinger Auditorium

France/Belgium, 2009, in French, Color, 75 min, Digital Projection, 1.85:1 • official site



10 films for $60 with punch card
$9 general admission. $7 w/UCB student ID, $7 for senior citizens
$1 discount to anyone with a bike helmet
Free on your birthday! CU Cinema Studies students get in free.


Pay lot 360 (now only $1/hour!), across from the buffalo statue and next to the Duane Physics tower, is closest to Muenzinger. Free parking can be found after 5pm at the meters along Colorado Ave east of Folsom stadium and along University Ave west of Macky.


Park elsewhere and catch the HOP to campus

International Film Series

(Originally called The University Film Commission)
Established 1941 by James Sandoe.

First Person Cinema

(Originally called The Experimental Cinema Group)
Established 1955 by Carla Selby, Gladney Oakley, Bruce Conner and Stan Brakhage.

C.U. Film Program

(AKA The Rocky Mountain Film Center)
First offered degrees in filmmaking and critical studies in 1989 under the guidance of Virgil Grillo.

Celebrating Stan

Created by Suranjan Ganguly in 2003.

C.U. Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Established 2017 by Chair Ernesto Acevedo-Muñoz.

Thank you, sponsors!
Boulder International Film Festival
Department of Cinema Studies & Moving Image Arts

Looking for a gift for a friend?
Buy a Frequent Patron Punch Card for $60 at any IFS show. With the punch card you can see ten films (a value of $90).

Cox & Kjølseth
: Filmmaker Alex Cox & Pablo Kjølseth discuss film topics from their own unique perspectives.

: Pablo and Ana share Zoom-based briefs on what's currently playing at IFS

Search IFS schedules

Index of visiting artists

Sun Mar 10, 2024

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

At Muenzinger Auditorium

Mon Apr 1, 2024

Hot Shots! Part Deux

At Muenzinger Auditorium

more on 35mm...