Partis "à la recherche du merveilleux" dans le grand Nord canadien, Peter Mettler et ses acolytes l'ont effectivement trouvé à Churchill, non loin du Nunavut. D'abord dans les étranges paysages formés par la neige et ses tempêtes, puis dans les lumières féeriques et toujours changeantes des aurores boréales. L'accord (contemplatif) entre les images, les textes et la musique arrive à transmettre une certaine magie.
Un documentaire fascinant qui ausculte les phénomènes naturels les plus surréels qui soient, les aurores boréales. L'aspect "making off" du documentaire ne fait que sublimer le phénomène naturel extraordinaire. C'est aussi un beau portrait d'une communauté humaine évoluant dans un paysage éprouvant.
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.
All through the movie I was reminded of Glenn Glould's reflections on The North. Snow is mystical from afar, from up close it starts becoming something else. And so too light, once its been hunted down on film. Who bothers to register wonder at such cost these days? I can only feel grateful, clever intellect seems a pretentious demand from such an effort as this film.
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!
Beautiful and smart. This film reminds us how close beaty and death are. In the war of nature against human civilization, of course that nature wins, civilization becomes a weak dream. In this philosophical film, even society means too little, a futile experiment of snow entering to a hotel room through a hole in the wall. Great film.