Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
Encounters at the End of the World
Off the map, things get strange.
Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger go to Antarctica to meet people who live and work there, and to capture footage of the continent's unique locations. Herzog's voiceover narration explains that his film will not be a typical Antarctica film about "fluffy penguins", but will explore the dreams of the people and the landscape.
An Herzog film has this feeling, that Herzog presumably puts in his films, that make them appear as if we are simply observing them.
Especially when Herzog himself is narrating his films, it makes it as if the viewer is an alien who came down to Earth to observe the actions of the human beings.
This is sometimes Herzog's intention, like in Lessons of Darkness, or as the actual story as in The Wild Blue Yonder.
Herzog promised this film, set in Antartica, would not focus on fluffy penguins (which is half right, as there is a very brief part about them),
the film focuses more on human nature, our place on earth, the beauty of Antartica, and most of…
If there's one thing to be said about Herzog's view of nature, it's that it's at odds with the view of nature that most people (in my experience) share. I think most people view nature as beautiful and harmonious and giving, if a little dangerous. I don't share that view, and I doubt Herzog shares it either, even though he has a great affection for the natural world. His view of nature is not one of beauty, but one of chaos and murder:
"Of course we are challenging nature itself, and it hits back. It just hits back that's all and that's grandiose about it and we have to accept that it is much stronger than we are. Kinski always…
Even now he's well into the swing of a career revival that began with 2005's Grizzly Man, it still feels a bit startling and odd to see a Herzog film on a commercial channel (Quest, in this case) with ad breaks and everything.
One thing I like about Herzog's films is that he's very responsive to his surroundings. Give him a ruined old building and he'll turn in something like the last film of his I saw, Gesualdo: Death for Five Voices, where his camera roams and creeps around a series of fantasies and narrative tangents. In Encounters at the End of the World he's moving across a series of small, cramped research labs, and the film feels like it…
Marvelous film. The simplicity of storytelling allows for the basic truth of our existence to shine through with clarity and depth. Extra points for using Bulgarian music during the most spectacular scenes.
Werner Herzog: ''The National Science Foundation had invited me to Antarctica even though I left no doubt that I would not come up with another film about penguins.''
This is only my second Herzog 'documentary' experience, but it's immediately apparent that he does not want to cover well-trodden ground, instead he seeks to understand what motivates the subjects, what their dreams are and how he can find the 'ecstatic truth' (www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/herzogs-minnesota-declaration-defining-ecstatic-truth) through his lens.
In immersing us in the almost alien environment of Antarctica, we meet a mix of characters who all have very different reasons for being there, but also take their scientific mission very seriously and whether it be iceberg analysis, the study of seal and penguin patterns…
No, this is not a film about fluffy penguins... It's a film about fluffy SUICIDAL penguins. There's also some hum0ns tossed in there, but whatever, fuck 'em.
That penguin heading towards the mountains alone is one of the most powerful images I've ever seen.
A series of fascinating images and interviews with the people who work in Antarctica. What really elevates the film is the former, in particular. The interviews were rather superficial, especially since Herzog himself actually narrated over a few of them for the sake of expediency.
Dumbstruck by each and every miraculous existence in the world we live in.. And mostly by the voice and narration of Herzog for the spectacular visuals he captured.. Feels like keep all the pending movies aside, and go on with the list of Herzog for sometime..
This one dragged a bit in the middle but is full of Herzog goodness:
"Why don't monkeys ride goats?"
"Are there gay penguins?"
This is so boring I have literally died. It's not even about the South Pole. It's about the South Pole enthusiasts and their complicated recording equipment and hiking gear.
The audio's really clean. But they're not really saying anything interesting.
Mr Herzog's vacation video diary. As good as that sounds
This is a wonderful documentary that fully showcases Werner Herzog’s inimitable style. In this documentary about Antarctica, he manages to completely avoid making the continent seem desolate, austere, or serene. Instead, by focusing on the people, who all have their own intensely odd mannerisms and interests, he uses the barren backdrop and alien fauna of Antarctica to throw these colourful human lives into even sharper relief.
Herzog seems to have a great time riffing with dozens of people who are pretty much just as batshit weird as he is, and it’s wonderfully entertaining to follow their meandering trains of thought, and seeing Herzog’s reaction, at once driven and hopelessly dispersed.
The natural environment of Antarctica provides a surreal and sometimes…
ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD is so much more than a documentary. It’s an exploration itself of the phenomenon of exploration. We meet Antarctica and the full-time dreamers/part-time workers whose travels and urges have led them to study it. We meet the biologist who has devised a plausible explanation for why humans first left the sea that connects directly with our nightmares. We hear the sounds that seals make to each other under the frozen sea that resonate with the sounds of our futuristic fiction. We meet veterans of personal adventures and backgrounds that, each one of them, would make a fascinating documentary. We meet the scientific/manufacturing site of McMurdo and the exploding volcano of Erebus. We engage…
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
- The Tree of Life
- The New World
- To the Wonder
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
- About Last Night...
- The Accidental Tourist
- Across the Universe
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.