Encounters at the End of the World

Synopsis: '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 the
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Werner Herzog
Production: ThinkFilm
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
99 min

But it could have been dangerous

It is, it is

And, you know, a story not too long ago is,

a lady was just taking a picture of a child,

you know, the same type of group of people

with machetes, and she wasn't so fortunate

- She didn't make it out

- What happened to her?

She was killed, by a machete

HERZOG Approaching McMurdo Station,

the largest American base,

in fact the largest settlement in Antarctica

Right there is Captain Scott's hut,

built in 1902

HERZOG During the austral summer,

about 1,000 people live here

experiencing a strange state,

five months of no nighttime

McMurdo serves as a logistical hub

and provides fixed laboratory facilities

for research

All the decisions about scientific projects

are the domain of my host,

the National Science Foundation

Day to day logistics

are run by a defense contractor

I had been told by some

disgruntled former inhabitants

that they ran things

in the spirit of a correctional facility

Actually, they were decent people,

just too concerned for my personal safety

Of course, I did not expect

pristine landscapes

and men living in blissful harmony

with fluffy penguins,

but I was still surprised to find McMurdo

looking like an ugly mining town

filled with Caterpillars

and noisy construction sites

Who are the people

who drive the heavy machinery,

and what brought them to Antarctica?

(LAUGHING) It's a long story

I've explored many different

lands of the mind and many worlds of ideas,

and I started before I even knew

how to read and write

My grandmother was reading

The Odyssey and The Iliad to me,

so I started my journey in my fantasy,

before I even knew the means

of accomplishing it, but my mind

and my psyche was ready for it

I was already traveling with Odysseus

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Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog (German: [ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈhɛɐ̯tsoːk]; born 5 September 1942) is a German screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director. Herzog is a figure of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. Herzog's films often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature.French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." He was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2009. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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