Last night we watched “Encounters at the End of the World”. It was a stunning and philosophical movie, not just about cute penguins in Antarctica.
The narrator, Werner Herzog (real name Werner H. Stipetic), asks bizarre questions, Bruno-style, like “can penguins go insane?” He must also ask each interviewee to tell him the most obscure or random thing about themselves. The first person interviewed is a self-proclaimed philosopher and forklift driver at the end of the world. When asked, ‘how does one end up in Antarctica?’ He replies, ‘it’s natural selection for people who want to jump off the margin of the map’, “professional dreamers”.
The people the director meets and interviews are interesting and complex characters with absolutely random hobbies. For example, the lively Volcanologist, Dr. Clive Oppenheimer from Cambridge, with curly hair and red cheeks like a hobbit, plays “My Name Is Jonas” by Weezer in one scene directly after applying riot-proof prison cameras at the top of an active volcano. The scene then cuts to a frozen sturgeon in a tunnel underneath the South Pole.