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Antarctica Movie, DVD / Video - History, Drama, and Nature

Encounters at the End of the WorldEncounters at the End of the World (2007)
Starring: Ryan Andrew Evans, Director: Werner Herzog

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Just about anywhere Werner Herzog goes becomes an interesting place, in part because the director shapes it with his distinctively sardonic eye. In Encounters at the End of the World, the 'Zog heads off to Antarctica, finding there a population of unusual people, hallucinatory underwater life, and penguins. He doesn't appear on camera, but the unmistakably Teutonic Herzog voice is very much with us all the time, a baleful tour guide for this blank destination. In the human outposts of Antarctica, Herzog finds the kind of people you might expect would gravitate to the edge of existence--the curious, the oddball, the wanderers who've run out of other places to explore. He finds some deadpan hilarity, especially in filming a communication drill involving people practicing blizzard conditions (they wear buckets over their heads while roped together). The underwater photography (a realm previously explored in Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder) is by Henry Kaiser, and it meshes perfectly with the director's interest in alien eye-scapes. And when Herzog finally does find penguins, his imagination goes to the idea that some penguins go insane, scurrying off into their own suicidal directions. This isn't as arresting a film as Grizzly Man, but it is an entertaining travelogue spiked with quirky observations.

Antarctica Dreaming (HD DVD + DVD Combo Disc) By HDScape [HD DVD]Antarctica Dreaming (HD DVD + DVD Combo Disc) (2006)

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Imagine a world colored by ice and fire, carved by hurricane-force winds, weighted by glaciers, and teeming with wildlife perfectly adapted to freezing conditions and winters of perpetual darkness. Experience the beauty of wild white blizzards and fire-red sunsets reflected in a glassy sea.

Antarctica Dreaming HD DVD explores the Antarctic peninsula, South Georgia Island, and the Falkland Islands, and features five species of penguins, four kinds of seals, fierce seabirds, and the most spectacular scenery on the planet.

- Filmed by Emmy Award winner David Hannan
- Includes 6 bonus mini documentaries.
- Shot in High Definition by Emmy-Award-winning maker of Coral Sea Dreaming, David Hannan
- Dolby TrueHD for 100% lossless High Definition Audio

March of the Penguins (Widescreen Edition)March of the Penguins (2005)      Star DVD

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March of the Penguins instantly qualifies as a wildlife classic. French filmmaker Luc Jacquet spent a full year of extreme conditions in Antarctica to capture the life cycle of Emperor penguins on film, and their diligence is evident in every striking frame of this 80-minute documentary. Narrated in soothing tones by Morgan Freeman, the film focuses on a colony of hundreds of Emperors as they return, in a single-file march of 70 miles or more, to their frozen breeding ground, far inland from the oceans where they thrive. At times dramatic, suspenseful, mischievous and just plain funny, the film conveys the intensity of the penguins' breeding cycle, and their treacherous task of protecting eggs and hatchlings in temperatures as low as 128 degrees below zero. March of the Penguins remains family-friendly throughout, and kids especially will enjoy the Antarctic blue-ice vistas and the playful, waddling appeal of the penguins, who can be slapstick clumsy or magnificently graceful, depending on the circumstances. A marvel of wildlife cinematography, this unique film offers a front-row seat to these amazing creatures, balancing just enough scientific information with the entertaining visuals. - Jeff Shannon

Antarctica (1983)

A Japanese Antarctica movie with English subtitles. Based on the story of a  1957 Japanese Antarctic expedition and how an abandoned dog team survive alone.

The Japanese name for the movie is NAN KYOKU MONOGATARI. Ken Takakura (Mr. Baseball), plays the leader of a dog sleigh team. If you like Dogs this is the movie for you. Forget Bengi, Balto, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Old Yeller. This is based on a True Story and Legend in Japan. Recently remade as the Disney movie "8 Below".

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The Last Place on EarthLast Place on Earth (1994)

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Scott and Amundsen both wanted to be first to the Pole. One of them was. The other became a hero.  Scott vs. Amundsen. It wasn't meant to be a race, but race it becomes, as the world awaits news of the first to reach the Pole. What follows is a tale of heroism, foolhardiness, selflessness and self-delusion, in a land where victory must be secondary to survival.

Beside the outstanding script and acting, the cinematography is absolutely breathtaking and the almost Herculean efforts to film this in the harsh environment of Greenland really paid off in making making one of the most impressive productions ever to be seen on television or the cinema. Anyone who is interested in history, exploration, or the psychology of men in extreme conditions will immensely enjoy this treasure.

Shackleton (2001)       Star DVD

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The highly acclaimed film of Shackleton's 1914 ill fated attempt to cross Antarctica via the South Pole and the subsequent heroic adventure. Starring Kenneth Branagh, magnificent as Shackleton with Lorcan Cranitch and Mark McGann as his loyal lieutenants Frank Wild and Tom Crean. The ice scenes and atmosphere of the deep south are wonderfully portrayed.

BAFTA award winner!

The Blue Planet - Seas of Life Collector's Set (Parts 1-4)The Blue Planet      Star DVD

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 An epic, eight-part series that took five years to complete, The Blue Planet firmly re-establishes the BBC as the world's pre-eminent producer of top quality nature documentaries. Exploring every aspect of marine ecosystems, from coastal marshes to deep-sea trenches and from polar waters to tropical reefs. Only partly about Antarctica, but an amazing collection of natural history programs.

Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (Large Format)Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure (2001)
IMAX dramatization

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The only documentary that traces the actual steps of the explorers' blessed journey. While providing a concise summary of the Shackleton team's 1914-16 expedition, this breathtaking IMAX feature employs exacting re-creations and flyover footage (from 1999 and 2000) of the same harsh landscapes that Shackleton and his men traversed, by land and sea, during their ill-fated voyage. As with most IMAX films, climactic moments are driven by a bombastic score, and the harshest facts of the Shackleton journey (e.g., sacrificing beloved dogs for food and euthanasia) are omitted for family viewing. What matters here are the visuals (both vintage and contemporary), and they're absolutely magnificent, conveying the sheer horror--and divine beauty--of the greatest survival story of all time.

Coverart90 Degrees South: With Scott to the Antarctic (1933)

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In 1910, Captain Robert Scott led a band of explorers to the South Pole, traversing hundreds of miles of the most brutal Antarctic topography only to discover that Swede Roald Amundsen had reached the Pole before them. Cinematographer Herbert Ponting made the journey with Scott, shooting still photographs and movie footage along the way. The story was first released to the public in instalments in 1911 and 1912, then reedited with Ponting's narration in 1933. A landmark documentary that is moving and powerful to this day.

Life in the  Freezer - BBC       Star DVD

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The "The Life in the Freezer" series presented in 1993 by David Attenborough brings excellent photography, rich details in animals' life of the region (including various breathtaking hunting images) and interesting information on the geological and other characteristics of the Antarctic continent. Get this if you're at all interested in Antarctica and its wildlife.

IMAX - Antarctica: An Adventure Of A Different Nature (1991)

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True to the IMAX tradition, Antarctica is replete with breathtaking aerial and underwater footage of the earth's highest, coldest, and driest continent.  Antarctica has some of the best production values on film today. The story begins with a flock of penguins above--and below--water, and moves to gargantuan underwater ice sheets and then to a look at Antarctic climatic changes.

Shackleton Trans Antarctica expedition, original footage from the voyage, released 1919South - Ernest Shackleton and the Endurance (1919)      Star DVD
Original footage

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The actual footage shot by Frank Hurley on Shackleton's ill fated Trans-Antarctic expedition. Hurley's camera work gives a good indication of what the 28 men endured. No drama could take the place of the actual footage from the expedition seen in this documentary. It is spellbinding. Lack of the men's voices (it is the 1910's after all) and lack of narration is no impediment, the pictures tell the story well enough, and the piano soundtrack just adds to the feeling of time gone by.

With Byrd at the South Pole: The Story of Little America (1930)

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Selected as one of the "Ten Best Films of the Year" by The New York Times and winner of the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, "With Byrd at the South Pole" is a celebration of the American hero at its zenith. Byrd's establishment of Little America and the spectacular first flight over the South Pole - part publicity stunt, part scientific milestone - marked the end of an era.

National Geographic's Antarctic Wildlife Adventure (1990)

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National Geographic wildlife programmes are to the same excellent standard as the magazine. The highest quality photography in the best looking settings. Narrated by Richard Attenborough.

Shackleton's Boat Journey - The Story of the James Caird (1999)

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Shackleton's journey in a small boat to seek help for his stranded crew--is told in this documentary. With virtually no chance of success, Shackleton and three crewmen set out across some of the most violent seas on earth in a boat that was only 23 feet long. What this video lacks in fancy production it makes up for with dramatic and concise storytelling. The difficulties of navigating in perilous weather, on a tossing sea where the sun is seldom visible, is told by excerpts from Shackleton's own writings.

Mr. Forbush And The Penguins [1971] UK
(Released as "Cry of the Penguins" in USA)

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A young London biologist spends most of his time pursuing girls rather than pursuing science. When the opportunity to go to the Antarctic to study a colony of penguins presents itself he agrees to go, not so much for the benefit of science but rather to impress the girl he has recently been chasing. The longer he stays in the Antarctic, however, the more he becomes truly interested in the penguins fight for survival. When the time to go home finally arrives, he is a changed man with a totally new outlook on life. Starring John Hurt.

A personal note - When I was about 14, I was off school with some real or imagined illness, this film was on TV in the afternoon. As a result I decided that I wanted to go to Antarctica.
Paul Ward - Webmaster

The Adventurers: Richard Byrd: Alone in Antarctica
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Heart of Antarctica (1998)
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Emperors of Antarctica (1994)
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Cousteau: Lilliput in Antarctica
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Thermal, insulated underwear

Extreme Cold Weather Clothing

Lonely Planet travel guide Antarctica
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Frozen Planet
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The Endurance - Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Dramatization with original footage

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Cool Antarctica Store - Pictures, Shirts, Calendars, Cards etc.

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