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…
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…
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.
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.
"McMurdo has climate-controlled housing facilities, its own radio station, a bowling alley, and abominations such as an aerobic studio and yoga classes. It even has an ATM machine." Never change, Werner.
Ever since I was little, I have had a fascination with Antarctica. A lot of it had to do with penguin culture and the cold, desolate landscape that surrounded them. As a result, I have seen countless documentaries chronicling the South Pole and its major features. It makes sense that I would inevitably be fascinated by Werner Herzog's take. It is beautiful, poetic, and there's a whole lot that I don't know about. It is a documentary that manages to make Antarctica, despite its frostbitten climate, seem more familiar and real than most other depictions. It is a wonderful place full of awe.
Yet the reason that I cannot come away calling it a masterpiece is because of its structure.…
I started this with Ran, but he lost interest and is a bit young to care about Werner Herzog waxing about the demise of humanity on the earth.
His perspective always enlightens and entertains.
It's amazing how sometimes I completely neglect the existence of Antarctica, the huge chunk of land beneath us. Sometimes I do think about it and wonder "What the hell do people do there?"
Herzog visits that chunk of land and finds out. He goes to research communities, and it is truly a community. In one place there is a bowling alley, a yoga studio, and a restaurant that has ice cream so good if it runs out the whole community is in the dumps.
Research is the main goal. One day they find three new underwater species. Incredible. The underwater photography is amazing and haunting. Creepy underwater creatures dance through the dark, cold water. Herzog's inclusion of church organ music…
"Dr. Ainley, is there such thing as insanity among penguins?...I don't mean that a penguin might believe he or she is Lenin or Napoleon Bonaparte, but could they just go crazy because they've had enough of
I liked the science.
They talked about archaeology.
I liked the lab.
Too much talking.
I wanted it to be like Batman.
Underwater of the swimmers was interesting.
I am ashamed to admit that this is my first "encounter" with Herzog (feel free to lay into me for that one) but it will certainly not be the last. The title says it all. The movie depicts Herzog traveling to Antarctica to engage in conversations and adventures with the people he finds there. Fascinating and frequently stunning.
Some of the greatest camerawork of all-time, in my opinion.
Every film Roger Ebert has given a four-star rating. This is an ongoing project.