Thursday, August 07, 2008

two docs for you

I have two documentary recommendations:

Encounters At the End of the Earth. Ok, you'd expect me to like this, because (1) I love Werner Herzog (having seen exactly one of his movies, but holy cow, it blew my mind) and (2) I love Antarctica. But my parents have neither of these loves and they dug it, too. Anyway. German director Werner Herzog got one of those sweet NSF grants to go to Antarctica and make art. He came back with this totally charming documentary about the people who work there. It is very, very not March of the Penguins. When Werner Herzog goes to see penguins, we end up hearing about penguin prostitution. Other useful things you learn: a plumber's theories about his ancestry. And what to do if you're standing on the edge of a volcano and lava bombs start falling around you. (I'm not going to tell you - watch the movie.)

Man on Wire. A beautiful, beautiful film about the guy who decided he should string a tightrope between the towers of the World Trade Center and dance on it. It's like a movie about a bank robbery - one that took years of planning and required breaking into a construction site (the towers weren't finished yet). The re-enactments are non-cheesy, the old footage is full of French younguns frolicking in meadows, and best of all, the director doesn't beat you over the head with 9/11. In fact, he never even refers to it. Whew.

I saw both of these because they were at a film festival and we reviewed them for the work blog, but I think they're both in theaters now. Go! Go!

P.S. Another movie that I watched at the same time and wanted to like, but found pretty disappointing: this one. Too bad.

1 comment:

Sophist said...

hey we got to see Encounters, and we got to meet Henry Kaiser, the composer and producer! it was great. I'm looking forward to Man on Wire.