Takes the approach of a poetical essay documenting the search for a natural wonder: the mysterious Aurora Borealis. Its incorporeal lights and colours pouring from the sky lure a small film team of six to Canada’s arctic.
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After seeing Gambling, Gods end LSD and his newest addition the End of Time, you can clearly see how he developed and perfected a documentary style that I deeply enjoy. Not his best but high above average.
“Inuits had 170 words for snow and ice”, Mettler says, for 170 differentiated avatars of water found in frozen state. At a closer look every monotony becomes a spectacle, a systematic botany of glacial nosegays. The seen demands classification. Or is it the vocabulary that, image absent, fulfills the function of the memory and hatches verbal polaroids for chance encounters with the elements? One's left excited by the
I have a deep, I'd say spiritual connection to the aurora. I've gone North to photograph them. They've moved me to tears. And yet, I wasn't crazy about this doc. The narration felt just a bit banal for the subject matter, the location, the people... Still, beautiful, and not unenjoyable. The footage of the lights was extraordinary. 3.5
2017 re-master. Mettler's unique and enthralling documentary sets out to capture the aurora borealis but also captures man's relationship with nature and winter along the way and perhaps a portion of the Canadian identity as well. As fascinating now as it was on release in '94. Interesting to see that both Catherine Martin and Ingrid Veninger worked on this before becoming directors themselves.
This early Peter Mettler's document already shines, it has that unique style, where both the visuals and narration are hypnotisingly poetic yet it still presents us enough scientific facts to carry considerable educational value. The landscapes are truly majestic, the analogue cinematography is top class. Striking, enchanting, with a sublime note of nostalgia. Excellent!
This movie is interesting in a historical sense. It would also be interesting to have the same crew or someone else go back to this town and see what has changed since this movie was made.
Now that would be fascinating.