Though I’m certain a teeny weeny minute few of my readers have been to Antarctica, you gotta admit the thought of going is enticing. You can’t have visited all 7 continents without going to Antarctica. And more and more tour companies are allowing us regular folk the opportunity to cross off a major bucket list item. In this world where every road is well travelled, it’s the one place that still remains largely untapped.
In the meantime, whilst saving for your Antarctic adventure (I hear it costs a BOMB), we have to delve into TV, books and of course movies to feed the wanderlust. Here are my pick of films to peak your interest to visit the land of polar bears and rapidly melting ice caps.
The Thing (1982)
I can already predict that you’re not surprised by this entry. The Thing is perhaps the most well-known and critically reviewed film ever set (not shot) in the Antarctic. Since it’s a horror movie, it’s not blatantly wanderlust-inspiring. But the excellence of the film is sure to win you over.
An American research station in the Antarctic is disturbed by a Norwegian helicopter exploding in the middle of the desolate landscape. When searching the wreckage, the Americans find a corpse with two faces… but an autopsy shows only regular human organs. The corpse is only the beginning of the horrors for the two Nations as an unknown organism continues to attack. Tbh if we were ever to be invaded by Aliens, I think they would start in a remote place like the Antarctic so they could destroy the human race slowly but discreetly… Just sayin’.
March of the Penguins (2005)
Since no fictional film that has been set in Antarctica has ever been shot there, the inclusion of documentaries in this list was vital. There are some subjects that deserve to be centre stage in their own film. And one of those is definitely penguins. Who doesn’t find penguins adorable?! And when it’s narrated by the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman, you’ve got yourself an Oscar-winning combination.
March of the Penguins is simply a compelling, compassionate doc that follows the life and movements of Emperor penguins through the seasons. They are born, they die and fight to survive in the changing climate. Apprehensive about Antarctica after watching The Thing? Well, March of the Penguins will change your mind.
Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
Werner Herzog is a filmmaker known for sheer scale and epic plots in the most remote places (take Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) for example). Therefore, it’s not surprising that he would choose to film in Antarctica despite being around 60-years-old. This is another documentary, but in Herzog’s own words it’s not about ‘fluffy penguins.’ Herzog and his cinematographer wanted to meet the people who live and work on Antarctica. They wanted to hear about their connection is to the landscapes and what they want out of life.
I think with these 3 films you have quite a whole picture of what we know about Antarctica thus far. The Thing symbolises the intrigue of the unknown, March of the Penguins focuses on the cute, fuzzy wildlife that Encounters at the End of the World purposefully excludes. Are you feeling ready for an Antarctic adventure?
Other films: Alien Vs Predator (2004), Eight Below (2006), 9 Songs (2004), The X-Files (1998), Happy Feet (2006)
Have you ever seen any of these films? Or been lucky enough to visit Antarctica??