Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Because It's There!

On Sunday I met David and Chris down at Film Forum and saw 'Encounters At The End Of The World,' the terrific Werner Herzog documentary about Antarctica and what draws people to live and work there. It's a visually stunning, thematically interesting, highly imaginative film. Herzog interviews a parade of quirky misfits of all professions and stripes, all of which are memorable. The visuals are so compelling that one could thoroughly enjoy this film with or without sound.

On to the Five Parameters!

1. Four Words That Encapsule: Easiest Antractic Viewing Opportunity

2. Haikus (5/7/5):
'Lose or find yourself
in the endless ice expanse;
white oblivion'

'Watching Werner work;

wonderful, wierd, rewarding;
man facing nature'

'Nature: man's debacle?;
playground, school and testing ground
of the ungrounded...'

3. Oblique Commentary: a) My favorite quote from this film was that people who are at loose ends and not well-grounded wind up rolling to the bottom of earth. This couldn't be entirely true, or I would have landed there in the mid-80s... :-); b) One shocker is that the main 'city' on this most scenic and pristine of continents is a rather ugly industrial sludge-heap called 'McMurdo.' The first few mentions sounded like 'McMurder' : - )

4. Insight: a) Werner Herzog has a unique combination of talents - an fertile, inquiring mind, sensitivity seasoned with irony, and eye for arresting imagery. His oeuvre is impressive and includes contemporary and historical fiction (Fitzcarraldo, Wrath of Aguirre) as well as documentary work ('Grizzly Man'). It shares a fascination with what drives man to the extremes of nature, far from the safety and comfort of civilization, and how man is transformed by this experience. b) The film is 99 minutes, and feels longer, in a good way, in that you've had ample time to meander with the director and his subjects in the Antarctic vastness.

5. Link:
Metacritic Review Summary. 'Encounters' averaged a 79 score from 16 reviewers, which is akin to a 'B+' or perhaps even an 'A-'; I'd give it an 'A-'.

Cartoon du Jour:

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I want to MOVE there.
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