Encounters at the End of the World

Director: Werner Herzog
Year Released: 2007
Rating: 3.0

The perpetually curious Herzog sets off to Antarctica where he is greeted with an assortment of outcasts and wanderers, researchers with various interests and spectacular creatures living beneath the thick ice. Some of the underwater footage is reminiscent of his "fiction" film The Wild Blue Yonder but the interviews and musings are new and - as always - odd and inspiring: he has a way of finding the 'misfit' in his subjects, of finding the eccentric images that linger in the mind (a strange ice cream machine that doesn't make ice cream in the strictest since, a lost penguin determined to die, people wearing buckets to simulate a white-out, scientists playing rock music on the roof of their headquarters) but he's also experienced in listening to mad ramblings and knows full well when to walk away from the nut-jobs. If anything, the footage of the grubby, slushy, muddy McMurdo Station (a makeshift 'town') - which contains large pieces of equipment and storage facilities - once again shows what happens when pristine lands fall into the hands of man, repeating the director's (completely understandable) concern that our planet is trying to get rid of us.