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Encounters at the End of the World
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ABOVE THE ICE
BELOW THE ICE
SEALS & MEN
DIVE LOCKER INTERVIEW
SOUTH POLE EXORCISM
JONATHAN DEMME INTERVIEWS WERNER HERZOG
+ a hidden "Easter Egg" extra: SEAL MEN, an Antarctic Parody of Herzog's GRIZZLY MAN, with weddell seals replacing grizzly bears
to access this Easter Egg:
on page 2 of the extras
highlight the exorcism extra
then move the cursor to the right
and the highlight will disappear
then press enter
this will open the secret and hidden easter egg extra: SEAL MEN
all and all this is over 3 hours of EXTRAS!
Several scientists are also followed in their work, including a couple of volcanologists, a cell biologist, a penguin scientist (Dr. David Ainley), a particle astrophysicist (Dr. Peter Gorhan), and more including divers. Their work is interesting but several awkward moments are allowed to film, but that is the filmmakers style, not indicative of bad editing.
The sheer beauty of Antarctica does not come across as well as in other films I have seen, but I did find this one to be the most realistic films of life in Antarctica. The filmmaker stated he was not going to Antarctica to "make another penguin film".
The underwater scenes are quite fascinating and beautiful. They were the primary reason I sought out this film and they are the best parts. Russian Orthodox music is infused with the glorious underwater sea life, creating a memorable moment in film that you may never forget.
I was at McMurdo when Herzog filmed/recorded this movie. While I am not featured I do know most of the those featured to some extent or more. I found his treatment honest. I would have been nice to have discuss some of the controversies existing in Antarctica and the various national programs but that would have required a docu-series.
- The filming itself is brilliant, as you'd expect from Herzog. The contrast beetween the spellbinding landscape and the banal living quarters of its inhabitants is striking.
- The interviews provide terrific insight into the passion and curiousity that is necessary to subject oneself to living, even temporarily, in the most inhospitable land on the planet.
- The footage of the Antarctic Ocean floor is truly otherwordly. The creatures beneath the "frozen sky" are beyond even the most imaginative science fiction writers.
- There are approximately three hours of extra footage contained in the extra features on disc one and disc two, including segments of footage taken above and below the frozen surface. There is also a 90 minute interview of Werner Herzog conducted by acclaimed director Jonathan Demme, which is very interesting and, for me, worth the price of admission.
- The film's interviews are often laden with scientific jargon that I suspect will alienate a general audience. I found the content of the interviews fascinating, albeit completely over my head.
- As other reviewers have noted, the interviews with the so-called "commoners" that were not in Antarctica for scientific study were too short. I felt that insufficient time was spent on telling their stories.
- While many of Herzog's observations and contemplations are fascinating, they never seem to connect to a larger theme or thesis.Read more ›
I want to be clear that this is a film which pulls together something of a mish-mash of Herzog's experiences and thoughts about the South Pole: stories of people, excursions into scientific research and intriguing philosophical insights. Some of those who disliked the film complained that it "lacked a unified theme", but I think they've missed the point. "Encounters", by design, is an odyssey without a destination. It paints a riveting and diverse picture of the South Pole as an otherworldly place of disjointed oddities... truly a collection vignettes which are unified only by the fact that they grow out of this desolate and beautiful continent.
Another complaint I've seen is that the film fails to serve as a call to action for tackling the issue of global warming. In an era when polar ice is melting faster than at any other time in human history, I suppose that I can understand why some folks might be disappointed that Herzog didn't leverage his fame and skill to make a film which would highlight and condemn global warming. As someone who is deeply concerned about the condition of our environment, I am sympathetic to their opinion. Still though, I feel like they're overlooking the simple fact that Herzog's brand of art is simply not preoccupied with environmentalism. Herzog's "Encounters" is not a plea to save the future... in fact, it's the exact opposite in a certain sense.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love Werner Herzog movies but this one falls flat. Too much time spent on attempting to find folks with an unusual background. Interesting but long.Published 20 days ago by Higherbean
Very thought provoking, nature, art, philosophy, psychology, science, cinematography all make this a worthwhile documentary.Published 2 months ago by John Hyde
Awful. Purely awful.
Completely lacks direction. Starts off with an overly long introduction to orchestral music, so you feel like you're getting set up for a Planet... Read more
A fascinating film, but if you don't go into it with a very loose, artistic mindset you will probably be frustrated by the almost complete lack of direction. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Tacitus Lector
It was good, but not great. I loved the cinematography, but the film itself didn't seem to have a "point". It just sort of meandered along and then ended. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Cassi Harris
IT's a good thing I didn't pay much for it I wintered over at McMurdo three time 55-57 59-60 63-64 And I thought it was a complete waste of money to film the things he filmed... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Neal Bicknese