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
as werner narrates the fate of a wandering penguin, his vacation to the north slideshow becomes an incredibly evocative vision of our existence on this planet.
A Good scientific as well as travel documentary
We share a native tongue, Werner Herzog and me, yet here he is at the end of the world, one of the least populated places on earth, pulling me aside, talking to me in a language that is not our own. It's almost as if he's become wise of a secret and he's looking to share. However, the words that are coming out of Herzog's mouth are English and not a clandestine code at all, it is a world language and the secret is not one at all either. It is more a general fascination with the world, with humans and the pursuit of knowledge. He's not out there to shine light on a specific subject, to reveal an absolute…
Werner Herzog does not disappoint in this fascinating documentary about Antarctica. The film gave much insight into the research being done there on the icy continent - featuring interviews with fascinating subjects that study marine life, volcanoes, penguins, and he even fit in a talk with a plumber that has ties with the ancient Aztecs. It's shot and scored beautifully, & as usual, Herzog provides profound narration.
A bit like going on holiday with Werner Herzog, this movie only lacks the group orientation meeting over breakfast. The venue for his Judith-Chalmers type behaviour is Antarctica and it's a supremely fascinating trawl through the wiles of the white continent - from volcanology over Erebus to diving under the ice. Herzog says he isn't going to make another film about penguins but the little blighters do make an appearance - to Herzog's scarcely concealed contempt -
Herzog made it clear that his Antarctica documentary was not going to be just another penguin movie. But the five minute penguin segment ends up stealing the show.
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.
Complete list. :-(
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.