Werner Herzog - Encounters in the Natural World Boxset (includes Encounters at the end of the world, Grizzly Man, White Diamond, La Soufriere & Flying Doctors of East Africa) [DVD]
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A collection of five documentaries about the natural world by film-maker Werner Herzog. In 'Encounters at the End of the World' (2007) Herzog travels to Antarctica accompanied only by his cinematographer to explore the unique landscape and history of the world's most southerly continent, and to meet some of the people who live and work there including scientists of various disciplines. 'Grizzly Man' (2005) explores the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell, who lived unarmed among the bears for 13 summers and filmed his adventures in the wild during his final five seasons. In October 2003, Treadwell's remains, along with those of his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were discovered near their campsite in Alaska's Katmai National Park and Reserve. They had been mauled and devoured by a grizzly, the first known victims of a bear attack in the park. 'The White Diamond' (2004) portrays the struggle of an aeronautical engineer who designed and built an airship to fly it over the forest canopies of Guyana. In 'La Soufriere' (1977), Herzog visits the island of Guadeloupe, on which a volcano is about to erupt, and talks to people there who refuse to be evacuated. 'The Flying Doctors of East Africa' (1969) looks at the flying doctors service of the African Medical and Research Foundation in Tanzania and Kenya.
Top Customer Reviews
This short piece concerns a Carribean island which was evacuated after rumblings from a volcano, which threatened to blow with the strength of five or six atomic bombs. Herzog and his crew went there after the evacuation to film absolutely eerie footage of a deserted town, with a sea full of dead snakes. They interview one of the residents who refused to leave. "Where should I go? Death waits forever, it is eternal."
This is Werner Herzog's tribute to Timothy Treadwell, the grizzly bear enthusiast who was torn apart and eaten by the creatures he loved in 2003. It consists mainly of footage shot by Treadwell himself in the wilds of Alaska. The film can be very tense to watch, especially the scenes near the start where Treadwell is touching the bears, and you are constantly waiting for them to knock the camera from his hand and decapitate him.
In some ways Treadwell reminds of the late Steve Irwin, both in his manic demenaour, and the fact that he died at the hands of the wildlife he sought to protect. He also reminds slightly in his mannerisms of the comedic actor Jim Carrey, making the footage shot just hours before his death seem all the more eerie.
One friend of Treadwell's has criticised this documentary for portraying Treadwell as a man with a death wish, while not focussing on the fact that he spent 35,000 hours living in direct contact with the bears before he was finally killed - an amazing feat.Read more ›
'Encounters at the end of the world' is mesmerisingly beautiful in parts and frankly odd in others. The collection of people are a sight to behold, all very strange and collected at the bottom of the world like droplets of mercury in a shallow dish.
'Grizzly Man' is about a very sad man who garners Werner Herzogs sympathy and understanding. His strangley understandable, but ultimately deplorable obsessional interference with the population of grizzlys is cring-worthy in places and sading in others. This does indeed have to be seen to be believed.
I really liked this set. I watched all the films twice within about a week. They are oddly comforting, compulsive viewing and left me feeling quite lonely when all the wonderful charcters had finally gone from my video screen.
This box set is very appealing and the Antartica story would justify the purchase by itself. The inclusion of 'The Flying Doctors of East Africa & La Soufrière' dvd in this box is not evident because these are much earlier works than the other documentaries. Nevertheless, it is a great way to start watching and collecting the moving footages and texts of Herzog.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Sorry about the pun. But I thought this film is completely dispensable.I'd booked it because it was (1) by Werner Herzog, and (2) it was about the natural world. Read morePublished on 22 Feb. 2015 by Ian Stewart
I've received my blu-ray edition of Encounters in the Natural World, and am overall rather pleased. Some issues should be documented for importers however, especially in the case... Read morePublished on 10 July 2012 by Mike M.
Extremely bad PQ, I never seen such bad transfer ever.
It is a good set and deserved more star if proper transfer.