“Encounters at the End of the World” is my first encounter with Werner Herzog. The title of the movie has a double meaning, referring both to Herzog’s NSF sponsored visit to Antartica, and his cliche assertion that humanity is doomed. By filling the screen with field researchers, he attempts to borrow scientific imprimatur for his soured perspective. “Encounters” is a kind of ego porn in which Werner manages to be both trite AND pretentious. There’s certainly beauty in the work, but much of it seems accidental, as if Werner himself doesn’t know what he’s pointing the camera at or why. His ugly observations keep anything authentic from emerging on the screen. Extracting the merest nugget of pleasure required constant effort – untangling the hokey mishmash of condescending interviews, eye candy and reverb heavy choral music.
In the distant past I had posted about Grizzly Man, another Herzog project which I have yet to see. It’s supposedly about a kid who get’s eaten by the bears he loves. Since “Grizzly” isn’t an instant watch on Netflix, I figured “Encounters” would be a tasty appetizer. Now I’m really not looking forward to the entree.
This brings me to why I want to have parties. I’m all aglow about community building here in Michigan, about pooling artistic resources to become more than the sum of our parts. Making movies requires diverse talent. Gathering and taking inventory of regional creatives is key. It’s simple really. Who can have fun, who’s into living life? Parties are about social play and digging the moment. I know I can build a future with folks who like to laugh.
We’ve got a world to save, we’ve got to evolve and how. Sad old boors like Werner Herzog are not going to get the job done. We need vital folks for that, folks who have the human game sussed. Party people.