Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's...As We Know It, And I Feel Fine

Encounters At The End Of The World(2007)
directed by Werner Herzog

"The National Science Foundation invited me even though I made it clear I would not be making another movie about penguins. "
Werner Herzog makes Anartica, strange, magical, hypnotic, and relevant, mostly without the use of penguins (who are apparently at turns insane and suicidal prostitutes and swingers).
Some of the images were very familair to his earlier "Wild Blue Yonder", but the narrative, holds together much stronger here.
Eccentric scientists, and travelers from all over the world, discussing the foundations of evolution, the invisible energies that permeate the cosmos, the constant shift of water and energy just beneath the surface of the ice, they also play guitar and wander around with boxes on their heads.

It's not so much a documentary about "Antartica", the geographical location, but about Antartica as an idea, an image, the people who go there, and why, a little of everything or anything that's is interesting.
Though Herzog in voice over gives us a few pet peeves, and doesnt mind talking about not liking a person or place, just as much as finding one interesting, it can get a bit distracting, even annoying...but mostly it's kinda funny, and can break up some of the slower moments.

The title of the film contains a double meaning, as the film is geographically located at the end of the world, while the dialog toward the conclusion discusses the end of civilization, the cooling of the ice-caps and the innate destructive nature of man.
My favorite Herzog quote is "Documentaries are as close to truth as glaciers are to farting".
In "Encounters At The End Of The World", staged as it may or may not be, you can still smell the ice, and it's stinks brilliantly

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