The ToB, presented by Field Notes, is here!

It's the 2023 Tournament of Books, presented by Field Notes! And it's finals week! Dig in!


Herzog’s Ecstatic Antarctic Truth

Werner Herzog's Encounters at The End of the World is more than whimsical characters and stunning underwater Antarctic photography. It's about his search for truth, life, and stories, and it thoroughly deserves Academy Award recognition.

Werner Herzog continues his quest for ecstatic truth in Encounters at The End of the World. The Academy Award nominated documentary shares the lives of people shaken down to Antarctica, interviews matched with choral-led underwater photography. Herzog's voice and narrative echoes through the film; colorful characters can't match his God-like pronouncements. It's an ideal introduction to his work: light-hearted, yet deep and occasionally surreal, revealing that his art, above all, is storytelling and discovering great epiphanies--even if you have to fill in some of the blanks. Whether it's predominantly fact or fiction is beside the point. Herzog flies far above such archaic and unnecessary distinctions, pushing imagination and dreams so far that such questions fall flat. It's balanced, stark and perfect for a winter when the last thing you want is a whimsical documentary about penguins. Instead, we have Herzog underwater magic. We for are better for it.


TMN Editor Mike Deri Smith is no gourmet, he just has an abnormally large stomach. He lives in London. More by Mike Deri Smith

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