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.
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…
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.
Three languages have died in the time it took me to write this review
A film that contains occasional excellent cinematography of wildlife and icescapes plus the mess that is McMurdo station which is offset by puzzlingly bad editing. This sets the pattern for the entire film as interesting interviews are countered by appalling questions and observations. The narrators cynical voice over of some of the speakers stories added nothing to the film other than to highlight the myopic and religious views of the director. In addition historical inaccuracies add to the sense of zero research prior to beginning this film. Audio of the seals was beautiful but this was brief while the choices of music for the rest was generally poor. And despite all claims this does contain a section on penguins.
Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog's interest in Antarctica seems obvious. For a man who's oeuvre often addresses man in conflict with the natural world, there are few more unforgiving environments than the frozen basement of the planet. However, Herzog wouldn't be legendary if he was predictable, so he cloaks the obvious with something about masks and ants that milk domesticated lice for sugar. Herzog's Teutonic timbre and unique mind accompanies the viewer throughout Encounters at the End of the World as he meets the kind of people who would agree to spend time in such a place. Professional nomads, over-educated wanderers, adventurers, and risk-takers occupy this icy version of a Wild West town that humans are plainly not supposed to be…
Werner Herzog mythologizes the South Pole in a film that features some breathtaking underwater photography and probably a better penguin saga in five minutes than the entirety of March of the Penguins.
Herzog's desire to know the homosexual habits of penguins really speaks to me.
Herzog's recent documentaries are fantastic. Mostly because he utilizes his very specific philosophical palate to separate his docs from the everyday docs you see that are, like, fine, but lacking a unique voice. Nowhere is Herzog's influence more present than the sequence involving a penguin breaking off from his flock and walking off to certain death into the barren wastes of Antarctica. It's totally ridiculous, and is a running joke around our household, but it's scenes like that that make Encounters at the End of the World so engaging.
I could listen to Werner talk about anything and everything all day - him diving into questions about our existence, life on Earth and our place in the grand scheme of things is no exception. Accompany that with some spectacular imagery and the result is truly beautiful
Loses a little bit of focus and steam by the end, but the first hour or so is some of the most amazing things I've ever seen. The underwater sections are haunting and inspiring. Its nearly impossible to fathom that they exist right now, and that they will continue to exist long after we're gone. Just fascinating stuff.
There is also a scene where scientists watch Them!, one of my favorite films, which also made me very happy to see.
Remember the penguin. I wonder about him.
Werner Herzog’s prolific career has taken him to the Amazon jungle, the streets of the Netherlands, the jungles of Thailand, rural Wisconsin, and with this documentary he’s gone all the way to Antarctica. Herzog is an iconic personality; he’s like a gentle but somewhat insane intellectual with a tendency to spout off esoteric comments at a moment’s notice. His opening narration promises that he’s not going to Antarctica simply to “make another movie about penguins” and he delivers on that promise. In fact the film focuses more on the various eccentric scientists who dwell in the south pole than it does on the animals and scenery. Among them are a linguist living on a continent without language, cell biologists who…
Complete list. :-(
All films used in the online course "Werner Herzog teaches film making" by masterclass (masterclass.com/classes/werner-herzog-teaches-filmmaking/)