this is self-indulgent as hell lmao
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.
Herzog once again, delivers a movie like nothing else. Something that makes you feel alive. Something that makes visiting Antarctica not only enjoyable but life affirming. It's that powerful.
If I could describe this film using only one word that word would be ethereal. Definition provided by Google, "extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world." That is such a perfect summation of the average Werner Herzog film. He takes something that may appear to be of this world and forces you to see it in the light he chooses. He turns Antarctica, a continent generally reserved for informative science documentaries and turns it into a piece of art. A creepy, cold, but extremely…
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…
Part of my 5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films (5) challenge.
Writer-director Werner Herzog has a penchant for filming in locations where nobody else goes, from the depths of the Amazon rain forest to Alaskan tundra and caves deep in the earth. Here, he brings his endless curiosity to the Antarctic to capture images so strange and beautiful, they seem like worlds beyond this Earth.
Many of his subjects here are natural: microscopic single-celled species previously undiscovered, giant seals whose voices sound like the track from a Pink Floyd album, a deranged penguin bent on a suicidal trek across the frozen continent, and eerie colonies of mollusks and sea urchins living at sub-zero temperatures.
But the most interesting aspect 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…
Three languages have died in the time it took me to write this review
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…
My kids chose this movie from Netflix and watched it all the way through. They've now seen a Werner Herzog film. I feel like I'm doing this parenting thing right.
Herzog is a unique talent. He has an incredible curiousity that leads his camera to the Antarctic. No one else would turn the camera's gaze where he does. The scientists, philosophers, and workmen that inhabit this documentary are every bit as fascinating as the alien creatures living under the ice.
ocean under the arctic ice is sci fi, and ethereal
Who knew so many fucking weirdos live on Antarctica
One of Werner Herzog's best documentary. A very beautiful journey into Antartica in search of mankind's meaning, in a way.
As funny as it is tragic, sometimes, but fascinating and honnest most of all.
Whoops. Forgot it record that I watched this one. And I already reviewed it for Let's Take Five Episode 30 with Tim Irwin!
Warner Herzog's documentaries were a corner of cinema I had yet to explore. I was expecting a standard, dry documentary about Antarctica; Encounters at the End of the World features a watercolor of a chimpanzee riding a goat within the first five minutes.
Herzog has had a reputation for being a grim critic of humanity, but that seems to be changing as he embraces the humour of that very image. I think that characterization of him has never really been accurate, and this documentary is a great example of why.
Encounters at the End of the World is about people. It is about the type of people that are drawn to the most unforgiving and hostile environment on Earth, and Herzog makes it about those people. There are asides of course, be they about the weird sounds seals make below the ice, or the penguin that chooses to wander into the frozen desert to die rather than stay with his friends and go…
<In your best Werner Herzog accent> "The world is cold and unfeeling. The nothingness, vast and unrelenting. It stretches for hundreds of miles in every direction."
Not sure why it took me so long to see this one as I am a sucker for any documentary by cinema's preeminent madman. Once again Herzog manages to achieve what few other filmmakers can as he immerses the viewer in a place and culture that is strange and foreign yet, by the end, you want to stay there and keep exploring it with him for hours. He has an innate ability to reveal the truth in any subject he examines and this film is no different.
The beauty and bleakness of Antarctica is…
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
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