By Joshua Estabrooks
Special to The Pioneer
There isnt a Hollywood movie that inspires memories and stories around the valley like Alive. Filmed on the Delphine Glacier, in Panorama Village and the Bugaboos from March through July of 1992, the movie was a landmark film for not only the valley, but also the Canadian film industry.
Stories of the making of Alive are many, as a large cross-section of valley residents assisted in all aspects of production, said local mountain film historian Brian Patton.
The whole movie was shot in sequence, and Sue Saunders was doing the catering, so it was her job to starve the actors because they had to lose weight as they were making the movie, he said.
The Windermere District Historic Society will present Alive in its entirety at David Thompson Secondary School on Thursday, April 11th. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6 p.m. so attendees can socialize and view a display of photos, maps and memorabilia. There will be a brief introduction at 6:45 p.m., including a short segment from the documentary Alive: 20 Years Later, which highlights the difficulties of recreating the story on a remote glacier in the Purcell Range. The movie starts at 7 p.m.
The historic Toby Theatre was used as a private screening venue for cast and crew during the filming of Alive, which allowed locals to rub shoulders with those involved with the production. Ron Peters, who owns the Toby along with his wife Elizabeth, said that a young man approached him in the video store during one of these events, and asked him who was starring in the film.
Ron replied that Ethan Hawke was, but that he wouldnt know what he looked like even if he ran him over with a truck. Ron was immediately approached by a young Ethan Hawke, who introduced himself on the spot, proving Rons point to the youth.
Hoping to bring out more of these stories, the historic societys screening is open to the public, but will also serve as an unofficial reunion of sorts for people who worked or helped out on the film.
We wanted to create an opportunity for people to swap stories, Patton said. Wed love it if people brought photographs or other memorabilia to share with the museum as well.
Alive hasnt been viewed in a theatrical setting in Invermere since its release, said Patton, so the historical society is hoping the event will be a celebratory look back at the film that meant so much to the community. The event will be officially free to the public, but donations to the Windermere Valley Museum will be welcomed at the door.