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Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

G  |   |  Documentary  |  17 October 2008 (Spain)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 12,153 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 63 user | 149 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator
Scott Rowland ...
Himself - Transportation Dept.
Stefan Pashov ...
Himself - Philosopher, Forklift Driver
Doug MacAyeal ...
Himself - Glaciologist (as Douglas MacAyeal)
Ryan Andrew Evans ...
Himself - Filmmaker, Cook (as Ryan A. Evans)
Kevin Emery ...
Himself - Survival School Instructor
Olav T. Oftedal ...
Himself - Nutritional Ecologist
Regina Eisert ...
Herself - Physiologist
David R. Pacheco Jr. ...
Himself - Journeyman Plumber
Samuel S. Bowser ...
Himself - Cell Biologist
Jan Pawlowski ...
Himself - Zoologist
William Jirsa ...
Himself - Linguist, Computer Expert
Karen Joyce ...
Herself - Traveler, Computer Expert
Libor Zicha ...
Himself - Utility Mechanic
Ashrita Furman ...
Himself - Multiple World Record Holder
Edit

Storyline

'Werner Herzog' takes his camera to Antarctica where we meet the odd men and women who have dedicated their lives to furthering the cause of science in treacherous conditions. A scientist studies neutrinos, which are everywhere, yet elusive; he likens them to spirits. A researcher's nighttime performance art includes contorting her body into a luggage bag. A survival guide teaches his students to survive white-out conditions by wearing cartoon-face buckets over their heads. Animal researchers milk mother seals as part of their study. Volcanologists offer advice on what to do when a volcano erupts. A pipefitter shows us the anomaly in his hands that he says are a sign he descended from Atzec royalty. A former Colorado banker drives what he has christened Ivan the Terra Bus. An underwater diver shows his colleagues DVDs of apocalyptic sci-fi films like Them! (1954). And -- though Herzog declares he's not "making another film about penguins" -- we meet a penguin researcher who answers ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

17 October 2008 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Rencontres au bout du monde  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$17,730 (USA) (13 June 2008)

Gross:

$943,934 (USA) (31 October 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Werner Herzog has disclosed that the scene of scientists putting their ears to the ice to listen to seal calls was entirely staged. Herzog asked them to position themselves according to his directions, and the sounds were previously recorded through underwater microphones by sound artist Douglas Quin. See more »

Quotes

Werner Herzog: McMurdo has climate-controlled housing facilities, its own radio station, a bowling alley, and abominations such as an aerobic studio and yoga classes. It even has an ATM machine.
See more »

Connections

Edited from Them! (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Tsmindao Gmerto Orovela
Performed by Female Chorus Group by National Music School of Telavi
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Psychotic Penguins And Other Stories
14 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

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 familiar 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 doesn't 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.

My favorite Herzog quote is "Documentaries are as close to truth as glaciers are to farting", here, staged as it may or may not be, you can still smell the ice, and it's stinks brilliantly.


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