anywhere Werner Herzog goes becomes an interesting place,
in part because the director shapes it with his distinctively
sardonic eye. In Encounters at the End of the World,
the 'Zog heads off to Antarctica, finding there
a population of unusual people, hallucinatory underwater
life, and penguins. He doesn't appear on camera,
but the unmistakably Teutonic Herzog voice is very much
with us all the time, a baleful tour guide for this
blank destination. In the human outposts of Antarctica,
Herzog finds the kind of people you might expect would
gravitate to the edge of existence--the curious, the
oddball, the wanderers who've run out of other places
to explore. He finds some deadpan hilarity, especially
in filming a communication drill involving people practicing
blizzard conditions (they wear buckets over their heads
while roped together). The underwater photography (a
realm previously explored in Herzog's The Wild Blue
Yonder) is by Henry Kaiser, and it meshes perfectly
with the director's interest in alien eye-scapes.
And when Herzog finally does find penguins, his imagination
goes to the idea that some penguins go insane, scurrying
off into their own suicidal directions. This isn't
as arresting a film as Grizzly Man, but it is an entertaining
travelogue spiked with quirky observations.
Dreaming (HD DVD + DVD Combo Disc) (2006)
Imagine a world
colored by ice and fire, carved by hurricane-force winds,
weighted by glaciers, and teeming with wildlife perfectly
adapted to freezing conditions and winters of perpetual
darkness. Experience the beauty of wild white blizzards
and fire-red sunsets reflected in a glassy sea.
Antarctica Dreaming HD DVD explores the Antarctic
peninsula, South Georgia Island, and the Falkland Islands,
and features five species of penguins, four kinds of
seals, fierce seabirds, and the most spectacular scenery
on the planet.
- Filmed by Emmy Award winner
David Hannan - Includes 6 bonus mini documentaries.
- Shot in High Definition by Emmy-Award-winning maker
of Coral Sea Dreaming, David Hannan - Dolby TrueHD
for 100% lossless High Definition Audio
March of the Penguins
instantly qualifies as a wildlife classic. French filmmaker
Luc Jacquet spent a full year of extreme conditions
in Antarctica to capture the life cycle of Emperor penguins
on film, and their diligence is evident in every
striking frame of this 80-minute documentary. Narrated
in soothing tones by Morgan Freeman, the film focuses
on a colony of hundreds of Emperors as they return,
in a single-file march of 70 miles or more, to their
frozen breeding ground, far inland from the oceans where
they thrive. At times dramatic, suspenseful, mischievous
and just plain funny, the film conveys the intensity
of the penguins' breeding cycle, and their treacherous
task of protecting eggs and hatchlings in temperatures
as low as 128 degrees below zero. March of the Penguins
remains family-friendly throughout, and kids especially
will enjoy the Antarctic blue-ice vistas and the playful,
waddling appeal of the penguins, who can be slapstick
clumsy or magnificently graceful, depending on the circumstances.
A marvel of wildlife cinematography, this unique film
offers a front-row seat to these amazing creatures,
balancing just enough scientific information with the
entertaining visuals. - Jeff Shannon
A Japanese Antarctica
movie with English subtitles. Based on the story
of a 1957 Japanese Antarctic expedition and how
an abandoned dog team survive alone.
The Japanese name for
the movie is NAN KYOKU MONOGATARI. Ken Takakura (Mr.
Baseball), plays the leader of a dog sleigh team. If
you like Dogs this is the movie for you. Forget Bengi,
Balto, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Old Yeller. This is based
on a True Story and Legend in Japan. Recently remade
as the Disney movie "8 Below".
and Amundsen both wanted to be first to the Pole. One
of them was. The other became a hero. Scott
vs. Amundsen. It wasn't meant to be a race, but
race it becomes, as the world awaits news of the first
to reach the Pole. What follows is a tale of heroism,
foolhardiness, selflessness and self-delusion, in a
land where victory must be secondary to survival.
Beside the outstanding script and
acting, the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking
and the almost Herculean efforts to film this in the
harsh environment of Greenland really paid off in making
making one of the most impressive productions ever to
be seen on television or the cinema. Anyone who is interested
in history, exploration, or the psychology of men in
extreme conditions will immensely enjoy this treasure.
acclaimed film of Shackleton's 1914 ill
fated attempt to cross Antarctica via the South
Pole and the subsequent heroic adventure.
Starring Kenneth Branagh, magnificent as Shackleton
with Lorcan Cranitch and Mark McGann as his
loyal lieutenants Frank Wild and Tom Crean.
The ice scenes and atmosphere of the deep south
are wonderfully portrayed.
epic, eight-part series that took five years
to complete,The Blue Planet
firmly re-establishes the BBC as the world's
pre-eminent producer of top quality nature
documentaries. Exploring every aspect of
marine ecosystems, from coastal marshes
to deep-sea trenches and from polar waters
to tropical reefs. Only partly about Antarctica,
but an amazing collection of natural history
The only documentary that traces
the actual steps of the explorers' blessed journey.
While providing a concise summary of the Shackleton
team's 1914-16 expedition, this breathtaking IMAX
feature employs exacting re-creations and flyover footage
(from 1999 and 2000) of the same harsh landscapes that
Shackleton and his men traversed, by land and sea, during
their ill-fated voyage. As with most IMAX films, climactic
moments are driven by a bombastic score, and the harshest
facts of the Shackleton journey (e.g., sacrificing beloved
dogs for food and euthanasia) are omitted for family
viewing. What matters here are the visuals (both vintage
and contemporary), and they're absolutely magnificent,
conveying the sheer horror--and divine beauty--of the
greatest survival story of all time.
Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic(1933)
In 1910, Captain Robert
Scott led a band of explorers to the South Pole,
traversing hundreds of miles of the most brutal
Antarctic topography only to discover that Swede
Roald Amundsen had reached the Pole before them.
Cinematographer Herbert Ponting made the journey
with Scott, shooting still photographs and movie
footage along the way. The story was first released
to the public in instalments in 1911 and 1912,
then reedited with Ponting's narration in
landmark documentary that is moving and powerful
to this day.
The "The Life in the Freezer" series
presented in 1993 by David Attenborough brings
excellent photography, rich details in animals'
life of the region (including various breathtaking
hunting images) and interesting information
on the geological and other characteristics
of the Antarctic continent. Get this if you're
at all interested in Antarctica and its wildlife.
- Antarctica: An Adventure Of A Different Nature(1991)
True to the IMAX
tradition, Antarctica is replete with
breathtaking aerial and underwater footage of
the earth's highest, coldest, and driest
continent.Antarctica has some
of the best production values on film today.
The story begins with a flock of penguins above--and
below--water, and moves to gargantuan underwater
ice sheets and then to a look at Antarctic climatic
- Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance (1919)
Star DVD Original
The actual footage
shot by Frank Hurley on Shackleton's ill
fated Trans-Antarctic expedition.
Hurley's camera work gives a good indication
of what the 28 men endured. No drama could take
the place of the actual footage from the expedition
seen in this documentary. It is spellbinding.
Lack of the men's voices (it is the 1910's
after all) and lack of narration is no impediment,
the pictures tell the story well enough, and
the piano soundtrack just adds to the feeling
of time gone by.
Byrd at the South Pole: The Story of Little
Selected as one of the "Ten
Best Films of the Year" by The New York
Times and winner of the Academy Award for Best
Cinematography, "With Byrd at the South
Pole" is a celebration of the American
hero at its zenith. Byrd's establishment
of Little America and the spectacular first
flight over the South Pole - part publicity
stunt, part scientific milestone - marked the
end of an era.
Geographic's Antarctic Wildlife Adventure
journey in a small boat to seek help for his
stranded crew--is told in this documentary.
With virtually no chance of success, Shackleton
and three crewmen set out across some of the
most violent seas on earth in a boat that was
only 23 feet long. What this video lacks in
fancy production it makes up for with dramatic
and concise storytelling. The difficulties of
navigating in perilous weather, on a tossing
sea where the sun is seldom visible, is told
by excerpts from Shackleton's own writings.
Forbush And The Penguins  UK (Released as "Cry
of the Penguins" in USA)
A young London biologist spends most of his time
pursuing girls rather than pursuing science. When
the opportunity to go to the Antarctic to study a colony
of penguins presents itself he agrees to go, not so
much for the benefit of science but rather to impress
the girl he has recently been chasing. The longer he
stays in the Antarctic, however, the more he becomes
truly interested in the penguins fight for survival.
When the time to go home finally arrives, he is a changed
man with a totally new outlook on life. Starring John
A personal note -
When I was about 14, I was off school with some real
or imagined illness, this film was on TV in the afternoon.
As a result I decided that I wanted to go to Antarctica.
Paul Ward - Webmaster
The Adventurers: Richard Byrd: Alone
in Antarctica Buy on VHS