About the daring adventure of exploring rainforest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur Falls... See full summary »
An alien narrates the story of his dying planet, his and his people's visits to Earth and Earth's man-made demise, while human astronauts attempt to find an alternate planet for surviving humans to live on.
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera.
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself ... See full summary »
'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
Werner Herzog dedicated the film to Roger Ebert, who he calls a true "warrior of cinema". Due to the dedication Ebert could not review the film, but he wrote a complimentary letter to Herzog and later published it. See more »
It occurred to me that in the time that we spent with him in the greenhouse possibly three or four languages have died. In our efforts to preserve endangered species we seem to overlook something equally important. To me, it's a sign of a deeply disturbed civilization, where tree-huggers and whale-huggers in their weirdness are acceptable, while no one embraces the last speakers of a language.
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Encounters at the End of the World is a quirky and interesting film, definitely a departure from your average dry science documentary or eye-candy nature film, though it has elements of both.
It focuses predominantly on the odd collection of people drawn to live in an Antarctic research station, and to a slightly lesser degree on the oddness of the region itself, and the bizarre bits of scientific trivia that can be found there. Then there the bonus meanderings about the ultimate doom of humanity and whether we originally emerged from the sea onto land to escape the "horror" of marine ecosystems.
Many of its parts are fascinating, but for me, it didn't quite come together as a whole. It drifted in a lot of different directions, but seemed overall to be lacking in focus a bit. There were also a couple of elements that disturbed me a little - one was the inconsistency of talking about how humanity is destroying itself one moment, and then bashing "tree huggers and whale huggers" the next. I guess it's OK to notice that we're damaging the world, but not to try and do something about it? The other was that in some cases he seemed to be going out of his way to depict the people he interviewed in embarrassing ways, with things like leaving the camera lingering on them after the interview appeared to be finished, as they stood nervously, apparently trying to figure out if it was over or not.
But on the whole I would recommend it -- the flaws are offset by some impressive visuals (especially the underwater footage), dry humour, interesting ideas to ponder, and a really great soundtrack by Henry Kaiser and David Lindley, which work very well with the oddness of the content.
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