Auteur: Jason Rodi
On my way down to Ushuaia (el fin del mundo) I spent a night in Buenos Aires. Exhausted from my preparations for the expedition, I was hoping to use my time in this city that I love, to disconnect from my daily responsibilities and find myself again. After being driven to the wrong airport, I missed my flight and left the cab stressed out, forgetting a very meaningful bag on the back seat. This was not a bag with anything completely necessary for the expedition, but rather my favorite, personal things, those that I identify with the most: my vintage leather jacket, the scarf my wife gave me, and the hiking boots that brought me up the seven summits. I should have known better than to want to disconnect from myself. I always seem to get what I wish for.
Since I put The Expedition for the Future online I’ve received interesting information on the journey that I didn’t yet know about. Peter Schuster, for example, is a boat captain from Germany, living in Montreal. The name of the boat we are taking is the Hanse Explorer, and Peter took notice of this because he has a book about the Hanseatic League, an alliance of trading cities and merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe in the 13th through the 17th centuries. An alliance in the late middle ages that lasted 400 years. What principles might have kept it together for so long?
For the purpose of making a film, telling a story, I experienced more than I can retrace. The highest mountain on every continent, I never would have thought! If I’d followed the camera up every summit, where else could it bring me? So began this strange experiment to test whether making movies could make any sincere dream come true, whether fiction could be turned into reality. A story-telling exercise in intuition and manifestation, 99¢ Dreams was shot and edited over 4 years, across the 7 continents in some of the most remote and surreal corners of the world. It takes place on an island where everything is possible. There, 8 dreamers journey to the edges of reality, turning life into fiction. On a stream of consciousness to the far reaches of the imagination; dreams of fame, power, freedom, and time travel collide. There is no fiction, there is only now.
Almost ten years ago I walked upon the summit of Mount Everest. I was 25 years old, I’m going on 35 now. If there is a single thing I had to say about my experience at the summit, it would be that I was amazed to find myself to be the same person as the kid that had once dreamed of it. I’d pictured bring someone else, someone stronger, wiser, more like a movie character. Yet there I was with the same faults and qualities; just human. That was my great discovery: just being human is an amazing thing. It makes the unbelievable a possibility.
That’s the idea that brought my father and I up the highest mountain on every continent. Here is the film that tells of our relationship atop the highest peaks of the planet.