Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Film Club Review – Encounters at the End of the World

Encounters at the End of the World

Werner Herzog’s documentary about Antarctica is a coin with two sides, one positive and one negative. On the positive side, it is a really interesting look at this little-understood continent. Herzog shows us lesser explored aspects of Antarctica and not just the “fuzzy penguins” (though even Herzog himself couldn’t resist having a few penguins). I learned a lot and was really intrigued by the ice caves as well as the deep sea diving under the ice and all the creatures that live their. The content of the film is informative and interesting, and I really enjoyed it.

The presentation is another matter. The downfall of this film is Herzog’s arrogance. His utter disdain for anything remotely conventional feels like he’s being condescending. And though I do find the transient lives of the travelers and explorers of the world interesting, Herzog portrays them in a superior light which is kind of annoying. He strives to sound deep and philosophical, but it just comes off as pretentious and rubbed me the wrong way.

I found the music to be a bad fit with the footage. It seemed to accentuate Herzog’s desperation for deep insight. I respected what he was doing, and even often agreed with what he was saying, but I just didn’t like the way he said it. I would have liked this movie a lot better if I had it on mute.  6/10

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