Encounters At the End of the World

Directed By: Werner Herzog

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Product Overview

Welcome to antarctica - like you've never experienced it. You've seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award winning iconoclastic filmmaker werner herzog to be the first to explore the south pole's most fascinating inhabitants...Humans.


Studio Image Entertainment
SKU 208793281
UPC 014381506822
UPC 14 00014381506822
Format DVD
Release Date 3/5/2013
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Werner Herzog returns to the non-fiction world once again with ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, his latest exploration into the dangerous beauty that exists in nature. This time, Herzog travels to Antarctica in order to deliver a funny, visually arresting, dreamlike glimpse into Earth's most mysterious continent. Herzog begins by interviewing the many bizarre and unique individuals who have chosen to live and work in the secluded, frozen McMurdo Station. These characters aren't far removed from Herzog's quirkiest narrative features; as he interrogates them, it is clear just how amused he is by their off-kilter personalities. After a while, he leaves the humans behind in order to focus on the creatures that populate the continent--most notably, seals and penguins. In one unforgettable sequence, a lone penguin breaks off from the pack and ventures off into the distance, never to be heard from again. Herzog's subsequent questioning of an expert, in which he contemplates a penguin's ability to become deranged, is the director at his most overtly humorous--but there's a sincerity to his questioning that keeps it from sarcasm. The film builds to a gorgeous, haunting conclusion, in which producer/composer/cohort Henry Kaiser takes a camera along with him deep into the sea, under all of that ice, at which point we are exposed to magical visions that feel downright otherworldly. Deftly balancing humor and seriousness, ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD is another gem in Herzog's already legendary canon.
New York Times "Few filmmakers make the end of days seem as hauntingly beautiful as Werner Herzog does..." 06/13/2008
Film Comment "In ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD we are offered a glimpse into a dynamic terrain, one whose landscapes are in environmental flux due to global warming..." 05/01/2008 p.71
Rolling Stone 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Herzog is one of a kind. His new doc is an event you watch in awe as you marvel at its wonders." 06/26/2008 81
Entertainment Weekly "The stunning images aren't enough for Herzog....He wants us to see how these quirky researchers, in their lust to explore, are acting out a drive as primitive as nature: the need to break away from the world in order to find it." -- Grade: A 06/20/2008 p.50
Los Angeles Times "The images captured by Herzog and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger are dazzling all on their own, finding the disorienting psychedelia that is nature at its weirdest." 06/27/2008
Total Film 4 stars out of 5 -- "Herzog imparts an infectious awe at nature's wild wonder." 08/13/2009
Werner Herzog
Name Herzog,Werner
Link Search Link
Cast & Crew
Henry Kaiser - Composer
Julian P. Hobbs - Executive Producer
Werner Herzog - Screenwriter
David Lindley - Composer
Henry Kaiser - Producer
Phil Fairclough - Executive Producer
Dave Harding - Executive Producer
Peter Zeitlinger - Director of Photography
Erik Nelson - Executive Producer
Werner Herzog - Narrator
Werner Herzog - Director
Technical Info
Catalog ID 5068
UPC 00014381506822
Number of Discs 2
Running Time 101 minutes
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.78:1
Independent Spirit (2009) Werner Herzog, Nominee, Best Documentary
Oscar (2009) Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser, Nominee, Best Documentary, Features
ReviewSource Reel.com
Review Werner Herzog, the P.T. Barnum of the art movie, is surely one of the most enduring iconoclasts in film history. Spreading his arch skepticism and divine nihilism over 50 films in the last five decades, Herzog, forever battling an unforgiving and unconcerned universe in his fiction and non-fiction efforts, has finally met his match in the silent and still white expanse of Antarctica in his new documentary Encounters at the End of the World...In a burst of cavalier nuttiness, the National Science Foundation and the Discovery Channel paid Herzog to travel to McMurdo Station--a community of 1,100 scientists, researchers, and screwballs--to delve into the mysteries of Antarctica...Herzog's conclusions are typically bleak. Declaring that human presence on the planet is not sustainable and, after the insignificance of man is chillingly highlighted (in more ways than one) in a sequence on the face of an active volcano, he concludes "the end of human life is assured." His mysticism does not allow him to dwell too long on problems of global warming as his ultimate concerns are about a post-mankind universe that will purge itself of that pesky species...He does however manage to get into a discussion about penguins in spite of himself and fixes his gaze onto a "disoriented" penguin who chooses not to follow the rest of a group of penguins heading to sustenance in the open water. The insane penguin decides instead to run on his own towards the highland mountains in the distance and to sure death. It's as pure a depiction of a Herzog actor as Klaus Kinski or Bruno S. ever could have illustrated. This sad penguin running headlong to its doom is the most haunting (and haunted) shot in all of Herzog's oeuvre.
Reviewer Paul Brenner
ReviewRating 10
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review Read the title of "Encounters at the End of the World" carefully, for it has two meanings. As he journeys to the South Pole, which is as far as you can get from everywhere, Werner Herzog also journeys to the prospect of man's oblivion. Far under the eternal ice, he visits a curious tunnel whose walls have been decorated by various mementos, including a frozen fish that is far away from its home waters. What might travelers from another planet think of these souvenirs, he wonders, if they visit long after all other signs of our civilization have vanished?...Herzog's method makes the movie seem like it is happening by chance, although chance has nothing to do with it. He narrates as if we're watching movies of his last vacation -- informal, conversational, engaging. He talks about people he met, sights he saw, thoughts he had. And then a larger picture grows inexorably into view. McMurdo [Research Station] is perched on the frontier of the coming suicide of the planet. Mankind has grown too fast, spent too freely, consumed too much, and the ice cap is melting, and we shall all perish. Herzog doesn't use such language, of course; he is too subtle and visionary. He is nudged toward his conclusions by what he sees. In a sense, his film journeys through time as well as space, and we see what little we may end up leaving behind us. Nor is he depressed by this prospect, but only philosophical. We came, we saw, we conquered, and we left behind a frozen fish...His visit to Antarctica was not intended, he warns us at the outset, to take footage of "fluffy penguins." But there are some penguins in the film, and one of them embarks on a journey that haunts my memory to this moment, long after it must have ended.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Actor Herzog,Werner
Label Image Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Entertainment Weekly Imaginative power!
Los Angeles Times Dazzling!
Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail ...as fascinating as it is humbling, even when Herzog ventures a little too far down eccentricity's back alley.
Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer An engaging and generous profile of the fascinating folks who have chosen to live at the end of the world.
The New York Times Hauntingly beautiful!

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