Monday, June 16, 2008

Movies: Encounters at the End of the World

This is, somewhat disconcertingly, only the second Herzog film I've seen, although I have heard him being interviewed on NPR, and so was prepared for the charming accent and random philosophizing he brought as narrator to Encounters at the End of the World, his new documentary that episodically visits with a number of scientists and other collected kooks living at the McMurdo research base in Antarctica.

Aside from Herzog's always-compelling random thoughts (the man defines ideal manhood, as far as I'm concerned—fearlessness, passion, and curiosity), the film offers completely unbelievable footage taken by scuba divers (we get to watch an interview with one) swimming—yes—under glaciers. This is the kind of footage that is so primal, and yet so alien, that it makes you feel very small and meaningless, which is my favorite way to feel.

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