September 12, 2007

Toronto. Encounters at the End of the World.

Encounters at the End of the World With Encounters at the End of the World, Werner Herzog "takes Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and gives it existential balls," writes Mike Plante for Filmmaker. "He comes to the conclusion that nature will not put up with humans forever, sooner or later taking the Earth back from us."

"I'm starting to understand that I'll never grow tired of Herzog's films," writes the San Francisco Bay Guardian's Cheryl Eddy. "Normally, voice-over makes me want to kill, but he's just so right-on with his observations, filming someone who's just launched into some long anecdote and then breaking in on the soundtrack: 'Her story goes on forever...'"

This doc "finds Herzog at his least committed - still curious and irascible as ever, but not as engaged as he was for superior films like Grizzly Man and Little Dieter Needs To Fly," writes Scott Tobias at the AV Club.

Eric Kohn talks with Herzog for the Reeler.

Update, 9/16: "The portrait of Antarctica - the people who work there and the animals who live there - is fascinating," writes J Robert Parks. "Encounters can't reach the pinnacle of Grizzly Man, though, in part because it's too diffuse.... But I also sympathize with Herzog, who wonders if our settling of Antarctica is a mistake–that maybe we should leave some white, uncharted spaces on our maps just to inspire our dreams."

Update, 9/19: "Herzog is utterly hilarious in his questioning of the inhabitants of Antarctica, and his impressions of the footage that he assembled has the benefit of being simultaneously haunting and funny," writes Tom Hall. "That said, some of the grand themes and formal conceits that made films like Fata Morgana and Lessons Of Darkness so beautiful and so haunting are absent here, replaced by a pithy, humorous narration that feels more like the travelogue of a curious and cranky uncle than a profound statement on the human condition."

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Posted by dwhudson at September 12, 2007 6:49 AM