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Encounters At The End Of The World (Blu-ray)

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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 (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn) to be the first to explore the South Pole's most fascinating inhabitants...humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, "professional dreamers" who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty -- perhaps the last frontier on earth.


Studio Image Entertainment
SKU 208793283
UPC 014381508154
UPC 14 00014381508154
Format Blu-Ray DVD
Release Date 3/5/2013
Aspect Ratio
Widescreen  1.78:1
Independent Spirit (2009) Werner Herzog, Nominee, Best Documentary
Oscar (2009) Werner Herzog, Henry Kaiser, Nominee, Best Documentary, Features
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
Video Format Blu-Ray
Entertainment Weekly Imaginative power!
Los Angeles Times Dazzling!
Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail 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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