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Encounters at the End of the World [DVD]


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Product details

  • Actors: Ryan Andrew Evans, Werner Herzog
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Aug. 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001QFZ8KK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,580 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Encounters at the end of the World is the visually stunning exploration of a land of fire, ice and solitude from award winning director Werner Herzog. Set in the awe-inspiring polar landscape, McMurdo, Antarctica is home to a hidden society. Here a thousand men and women live among some of the world s most beautiful and unexpected natural wonders, whilst at the same time risking their lives in the pursuit of cutting edge science in the extremely hostile conditions. Now for the first time an outsider has been permitted into this extraordinary place. Werner Herzog and his cameraman take us on their adventure, exploring a previously unseen world and capturing some of Antarctica s breath-taking scenery and wildlife for the very first time - both above and below the ice cap. Delivering the same kind of enthralling images as Planet Earth, Encounters At The End Of The World is a unique film that will leave you captivated by life in the ultimate Down Under.

Review

Extraordinary Herzog finds breathtaking beauty here in the awesome scale of things FOUR STARS --Uncut

Superb. It also contains some of the most jaw-dropping photography you're likely to see this year. Powerful... eye-boggling... utterly masterful. FIVE STARS --Timeout

Breathtaking Almost every image is astonishing. This is a film that makes our existence feel utterly insignificant in the most life-affirming manner possible. Brilliant. 9/10 --Clash

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Dec. 2008
Format: Blu-ray
Werner Herzog is one of those unique directors that never give you quite what you expect, but always satisfy. This film, in amazingly clear and crisp "blu-ray" makes you feel as if you are on Antarctica and underwater. In fact, you feel every scene as Hertoz has a talent of pulling you into the picture. There is no dispute that a blu-ray player and a good flat screen television is just about as great an experience that you can achieve nowadays and Herzog takes it to task.

The scenes are massive in scale and include glaciers, mountains, underwater breathtaking scenes, human interaction and a thorough dissection of the land and the people that occupy this one outpost. Hertoz narrates the film with not just his comments on the amazing scenery, but his personal interactions with the people living there to study. There is plenty of heartbreaking and amazing history throughout the film (i.e., Shackleton's journey). The characters are both normal and odd. Traveling to this location in a huge specialized plane shows the crew in each of their unique positions; sleeping in bags on the floor, strapped into less than comfortable looking chairs, tents set up inside the aircraft, conversations both normal and strange. At times explaining their interest in the areas conditions and their own methods of survival - some of which are quite funny, if the consequences of dying were not so real.

The cinematography is the real star here and with copious amounts of blue and white surrounding you, the feeling is surreal. There are no cute penguins or whales, just great shots of bizarre looking starfish that move and clams that snap open and shut as they travel through the water. The underwater visibility is impeccably clear. The ice cutting, severe wind and blizzards make the experience real. This is another place with unique individuals all filmed in magically and frightening real circumstances.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bob Salter TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2011
Format: DVD
Werner Herzog is the sort of guy who seems to be able to turn his hand to anything. He is a pretty decent film director/producer of both features and documentaries. I can't wait to see his latest offering "Cave of Forgotten Dreams". He can act a bit, writes books and screenplays and is an accomplished opera director. He no doubt also cooks a mean sunday roast, or whatever the German equivalent is. Now at the ripe old age sixty eight he still keeps himself gainfully employed. With advancing years he seems to have become more reflective. What is mans future and his place in the Cosmos? Questions which are picked over in this fascinating documentary. As Herzog points out early on, this is not another documentary about fluffy penguins! Indeed, could we take another!

Much of the documentary is spent interviewing the mostly American population who inhabit the McMurdo Station in Antarctica. This seems to be quite a sizeable settlement sitting on the worlds white bottom. The denizens happen to be an interesting bunch, many of whom are homespun philosophers. It seems that Antarctica draws the types who do not like to let the moss grow under their feet, and many have fascinating tales to relate. Herzog shows some documentary footage of early explorers in McMurdo sound to illustrate just how much things have changed. In Shackleton's day it was a question of survival, but fast forward to today and McMurdo station can boast such abominations, Herzog's words not mine, as yoga classes, a bowling alley and even an ATM machine. It is worth watching Shackleton's own film of the expedition "South", which has been nicely restored by the BFI to fully understand just how much things have changed. Perhaps funniest was the sight of grown men with white buckets over their heads to simulate a white out.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By co204jm on 16 July 2009
Format: DVD
In Herzog's first documentary since Grizzly Man, the masterful director ventures deep into Antarctica, in search of a community formed of fringe scientists who live for the study of the local wildlife.

Through a series of interviews and archive footage, we get into the mindset of these great minds who cut themselves off from the rest of the world for the love of what they do. Understandably, many of the residents live up the
now well-established Herzog muse; walking the tightrope between genius and insanity.

The animals themselves are also explored in great depth, with the deranged penguin being a particular highlight, as the director explores the notion of insanity in the animal kingdom. The cinematography is also sublime, matching anything seen in Planet Earth or similar.

Once again, Herzog himself provides a voice-over with the kind of voice you could listen to all day, and at certain times makes observations that are laugh out loud funny - "Why is it that a monkey should choose not to mount a goat and ride off into the sunset?"

Even if you're not familiar with the director's previous work, Encounters at the End of the World is well worth checking out and would make a perfect present for any member of the family.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Straightforward TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Jun. 2012
Format: Blu-ray
Werner Herzog knows a secret: it is this that keeps him returning to the documentary form of film-making. In all his films there exists a common thread that runs through them like a seam of gold in rock, and it is this: people are fascinating; their motivations, their extremes - their behaviour. This is one of his more light-hearted documentaries - it does not concern murderers and capital punishment, like Into The Abyss or Death Row, or death by the focus of your obsession, like Grizzly Man], but it shares the same commonality: it is populated by highly unusual people.

Given the title of the film you might be lead to believe that this film is about the natural environment of the Antarctic - it has a highly-developed sense of awe regarding the natural surroundings it takes place in, but this emphatically isn't a film about nature; rather, it is a film about *human nature*.

There is some breathtaking camerawork in this film - and the DVD extras include two amazing short films: one shot by Henry Kaiser, both set to music: 'Under the Ice' (35 minutes of Kaiser's underwater footage), and 'Above the Ice' (Herzog had three hours of helicopter support time left after filming, so they filmed the surrounding landscape and ended up with this - 10 minutes long). So there is plenty of nature footage on the DVD if that's what you're after.

I was struck by how unusual the group of people that lived at McMurdo research station were - they all seem to be highly-intelligent science and nature nerds; the kind who would normally be in a tiny minority almost anywhere else. Here they are the norm, and their living surroundings reflect the quirkiness and inquisitiveness that has led them to seek out a life in one of the most remote and inhospitable places on the earth.
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