By Hans Ebert
Some just can’t help themselves. It’s either their calling in life, or some deep-rooted insecurity. And whenever it boils over, one can recoil in horror or simply roll a joint, inhale slowly and deeply, keep it in your system for at least a minute, and then exhale slowly and slightly unhinge your mind and relax and float downstream.
So when a friend sent me a link to a documentary LOUDLY titled “Inside The Everest” with no explanation, there I was thinking it would be some rare new insight into Sir Edmund Hillary conquering Everest, the Mountain. But no, children. It was something far bigger. Far more chilling.
After a few seconds into the video that begins with what sounds like the buildup to the Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” and then some music that’s very much on the spooky and menacing side, seeing that this was the trailer to the sequel to the race that stopped a nation and ambushed racing in Victoria, I sucked hard on the joint to try and get to the thinking behind what some consider to be a watershed moment in horse racing which needs to be repeated and repeated until one almost feels bludgeoned to death.
It’s probably how Sonny Corleone must have felt when being riddled with bullets or when Joe Pesci and the rest of his Goodfellas kicked the shit out of the character played by Dennis Farina as “Atlantis” by Donovan played peacefully in the background.
It was such violence mixed with aural beauty, which is not a bad name for a horse, by the way, that one couldn’t help but be sucked into this other world that director Martin Scorsese was painting.
None of this has anything to do with “Inside The Everest”, which is a much more of a riveting telling of all the mountaineering work that needed to be done before the horse race known as The Everest became a reality. It was the stuff of almost biblical proportions. Some say it saved horse racing.
Detractors have said, why not leave good enough alone and is this just a continuation to remind Australian racing just who is running in it and another cheap exercise in narcissism and control. This would be harsh. No, this is one man’s determination and quest to reinvent horse racing, and with it, perhaps life itself.
To this viewer, it’s very clear that “Inside The Everest” is very much like a Tony Robbins self-help book about how to tap into more than the one eighth of the brain we currently use. Yeah, it’s like dropping acid and waiting twenty minutes before your mind is totally blown.
Peter V’landys, whose vision and tenacity brought The Everbreast to life, takes us through his journey from it just being an empty thought bubble to becoming a combination of Ben Hur, The Ten Commandments and Herbie The Love Bug.
“Horse racing needs to reinvent itself,” snarls this man of great vision and compassion, and how “we cannot be stuck in the past”. Of course one can’t help but think that “the past” mentioned is everything that those South of the border keep churning out like more Fashions On The Field and dragging out Daryl Braithwaite for one more rendition of “Horses”. Cue more menacing music. Then there’s the thunderous boom of $10 million and how “Everyone is talking about The Everbeast”. The music becomes more menacing.
The entire telling of The Eveready story is kept at a steady clip and never suffers from repetition or strays into self-indulgence, claptrap, clichés, and self promotion. No, this is more “Spinal Tap subtle” than Three Stooges goofy. Cue more menacing music.
Looking like a cross between a sweaty Jimmy Kimmel and a bit player in “The Sopranos”, Peter V’landys plays it straight. He means business and the menacing music and snarl are all part of the packaging and getting to the heart of the matter. After all, this is life-changing stuff.
This is his story and nothing was going to get in the way of that. It is about a tireless expedition undertaken by one special human being over dangerous terrain to reach the very summit of wherever he was going to create a new dimension of sight and sound and slots and with that musical icon Jason Derulo in tow.
Sometimes, it comes across as one man’s quest to find himself. One must admit shedding a little tear listening to Pete even if this was only the trailer for a more in depth telling of The Everlasting story. It’s like when Bambi lost her mother to those bad hunters. Or when they had to put down Ol’ Yeller. It’s just as intellectually and psychologically and pathologically challenging.
One almost expects Ray Thomas and the rest of the usual fawning cheer leading squad who regularly talk from both sides of the mouth to suddenly appear in the full length version of “Inside The Everest” and burst into a rousing version of “For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow” and then do The Dance Of Joy Of The Nomadic Sherpas. Oh what wonderful fun that would have be!
Viewing “Inside The Everest”, I couldn’t help thinking outside the box and how, perhaps, those wonderful people propping up Racing.com could be featured in this documentary almost as if the North and South were smoking a peace pipe.
After all, Racing New South Wales might have The Everest, but Racing Victoria’s media partner has The Bullring and, most recently, Thomas Farms.
They too are turning horse racing on its head by bringing in product placement, a three-ringed circus for corporate bookmakers to make punters lose even more money, and now, creating its own shopping channel with that dear boy ShaneO seemingly given rein to promote himself as the Michael Parkinson of Australian horse racing.
Just imagine, I thought, what if ShaneO and Peter V’landys could form an alliance and bring peace to the Valley? Imagine what together these two minds could accomplish?
Meanwhile, one can only watch the trailer for “Inside The Everest”, listen to the gospel according to Saint Peter and only guess what awaits audiences around the world and how one $10 million horse race and Jason Derulo changed the course of horse racing history. Cue menacing music.
#Everest #PeterV’landys #horseracing