7.7/10
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Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

Trailer
1:51 | Trailer
Film-maker Werner Herzog travels to the McMurdo Station in Antarctica, looking to capture the continent's beauty and investigate the characters living there.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Doug MacAyeal: Might as well be on a piece of the South Pole but yet I'm actually adrift in the ocean, a vagabond floating in the ocean, and below my feet I can feel the rumble of the iceberg, I can feel the change, the cry of the iceberg, as it's screeching and as it's bouncing off the seabed, as it's steering the ocean currents, as it's beginning to move north. I can feel that sound coming up through the bottoms in the my feet and telling me that this iceberg is coming north. That's my dream.
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Connections

Edited from Them! (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Retche Gospod Gospodevi Moyemu
Performed by Alexander Sedov
See more »

User Reviews

 
Not your average science documentary
31 July 2008 | by LaFeeChartreuseSee all my reviews

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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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 July 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Encounters at the End of the World See more »

Filming Locations:

McMurdo Station, Antarctica See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,730, 15 June 2008

Gross USA:

$944,933

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,205,464
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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