Wes Anderson at 79°S
December 7, 2014 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Welcome to Union Glacier, Antarctica. "There is no great achievement or record broken, nor any real challenge to overcome. Instead [this documentary] concerns minor details; the everyday tasks of the staff that were made more special by the environment surrounding them. And in fact, I think that's what attracted me to make this film — the delightful trivialities of an average life, working in Antarctica." [Vimeo; 53 minutes; you can dip in and out of it]
posted by matthewr (28 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, I want to go to Antarctica just to get my passport stamped!
posted by hippybear at 11:21 AM on December 7, 2014


The OP's quoted description of "the delightful trivialities of an average life, working in Antarctica", would also make an adroit description of Werner Herzog's excellent 2007 Antarctica documentary, Encounters at the End of the World.
posted by fairmettle at 11:32 AM on December 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


True, but this is whimsical, whereas Herzog's film is... well, existentialist to say the least.
posted by hippybear at 11:35 AM on December 7, 2014


I enjoyed Herzog's doc, but there was quite a bit of old Werner trying to scrounge up the wackiness. Love the guy. Will have to watch the OP doc later, but thanks.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 11:38 AM on December 7, 2014


A friend just left a couple of days ago on a three-week trip of a lifetime to Antarctica - I was already jealous and am now even more so after seeing this charming, well-done film! Thanks for posting.
posted by hapax_legomenon at 12:31 PM on December 7, 2014


The Wes Anderson tropes are a bit heavy handed (and I love Wes Anderson), but there are some gorgeous shots and this is really pleasant to watch. And Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World is possibly my favorite film, so I have that insecure feeling that I am the exact demographic this movie is shooting at.
posted by Corduroy at 12:32 PM on December 7, 2014


Just checking, before I WTFV: this is actually by Anderson, yes? Because I like his work, but I'm a little weary of all the Wes Anderson parodies.
posted by neroli at 2:03 PM on December 7, 2014


Didn't mefi have someone who was based in Antarctica at one point?
Oh yes eotvos organized a meetup.
posted by adamvasco at 2:08 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just checking, before I WTFV: this is actually by Anderson, yes? Because I like his work, but I'm a little weary of all the Wes Anderson parodies.

It's not actually Anderson but it's not a parody, it just uses Futura throughout and has a few Anderson-esque stylistic bits here and there (mainly in the opening) but it isn't heavy handed with it or anything - it's far more interested in the subject matter than in the minor Anderson tics.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:25 PM on December 7, 2014


The filmmaker is Temujin Doran. I don't understand why the Wes Anderson reference had to be in the hedline or indeed, anywhere in the post.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:36 PM on December 7, 2014


I don't understand why the Wes Anderson reference had to be in the hedline or indeed, anywhere in the post.

While maybe putting it in the headline is overstating the relationship, it's undeniable that the format of this documentary draws very heavily on Wes Anderson's style. It's part of its appeal and I would think it would be odd not to mention it.
posted by leo_r at 2:46 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was gorgeous, endearing and very well done. Thank you for posting!
posted by nevercalm at 4:00 PM on December 7, 2014


I was hoping for something Anderson directed himself, but it turned out what I actually wanted was just this: a joyous evocation of his style (the attention to symmetry, and the music, were particularly pleasing). Also, really interesting and fun, and relaxing.

Thanks for posting this!
posted by Quagkapi at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


> I would think it would be odd not to mention it.

It's even odder not to mention the person who actually created it, though.
posted by languagehat at 4:58 PM on December 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


"Temujin Doran: Documenting Distopia about his film Obey (52 mins). "It charts the rise of the Corporate State, and examines the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, globalisation, staggering inequality and environmental change. It is made entirely of clips found on the web."
posted by stbalbach at 6:01 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


If you like this sort of thing, you should see A Year On Ice--directed by an actual Antarctican who has been working there for years. It's full of really stunning footage (lots of time lapse) as well as interviews that capture the experience of living at McMurdo Station much more accurately than Encounters at the End of the World.
posted by fermion at 6:48 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


My goodness, but I did enjoy that. Thanks matthewr. I think I could really hunker down and binge watch a cable channel called The Minutiae.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:29 PM on December 7, 2014


this evokes Wes Anderson 'cus it's JUST SO WHITE

(you know snow and stuff)

actually this is really great and well-done, thanks for posting!
posted by daisystomper at 7:50 PM on December 7, 2014


Easy way to tell if it's actually Anderson: Does it feature many wide, still, centered shots of research installations?
posted by aaronetc at 8:09 PM on December 7, 2014


Yeah you guys, other than a smart use of soundtrack, and lots of title cards set in futura, not really all that Andersonian.

Why, it's hardly whimsical at all.
posted by pmv at 9:09 PM on December 7, 2014


Thank you for posting this, it was fantastic! Wonderfully, it left me feeling warm, of all things.
posted by Mizu at 11:08 PM on December 7, 2014


Also, I liked the last song so much I looked it up and now I have a new favorite composer: Enrico Coniglio.
posted by Mizu at 11:16 PM on December 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I saw "A Year on Ice" last week at the theatre and now want nothing more than to go work in Antarctica for a year or two. Pretty much everything about it appeals to me, but so far from what I can tell, none of my skills translate to the job positions available.
posted by dogwalker at 12:36 AM on December 8, 2014


Thank you so much for posting this. Thoroughly enjoyable and lovely to watch with a hot cup of tea in my hands.

It's been a few years since I went winter camping, and some of the interior shots with the windy tent noises brought back some great memories.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:17 AM on December 8, 2014


95% of the population would probably fail an Antarctica job interview on health grounds. Teeth history. Medical history. etc.. even a minor medical problem can become a major international incident. The assumption is weather can keep planes grounded for weeks or even months. Maybe it's a little more relaxed in the summer months. It would be interesting to see what the health hurdles are.
posted by stbalbach at 5:44 AM on December 8, 2014


Welp, I guess I'm gonna go watch A Year on Ice today.
posted by cthuljew at 9:01 AM on December 8, 2014


stbalbach: the health tests aren't all THAT hard to pass, at least for McMurdo Station (although they will require a note from your dentist if you still have your wisdom teeth.)
And there are unskilled jobs available (janitor and dishwasher/kitchen gofer being the main ones.) I've heard that part of the trick to getting hired at McMurdo is just to get your resume in early--but that was when Raytheon was the contractor running the station, and it's Lockheed Martin now, so everything could be (and probably is) totally different. The main science season runs from September to February, so I expect they haven't posted the jobs for the 2015-2016 season yet.
posted by fermion at 12:19 AM on December 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


This was lovely, thanks for posting it. I know it's totally groundbreaking to hate on National Geographic and History Channel for their programming these days, but man I would totally watch a reality show about this sort of thing.

TIA Motherf
posted by DynamiteToast at 11:46 AM on December 9, 2014


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