The Last Continent Jean Lemire

The Last Continent Jean Lemire
For everyone who missed the "pollution is bad” memo that was spread around to grade schools decades ago, along with the hundreds of documentaries, movies, television shows and even cartoons made on the subject since then, there is The Last Continent, a documentary that points out the devastating effects that global warming is having on Antarctica. While certainly relevant and impressive in scope, its construction and most notably, soundtrack are perhaps a little maladroit in execution, fumbling about for dramatic urgency and a message deeper than that of what is on the surface. In this story of scientists, filmmakers and explorers who isolate themselves in Antarctica for over 400 days, there are rumblings of weather pattern anomalies, interrupted migration and breeding habits of animals, day-to-day struggles of remote living, episodes of paranoia and the occasional bloody, gaping seal vagina but never do these things gel. Instead of settling for a passive documentation of the events that unfold, an effort is made to construct a traditional narrative, mostly through an overbearing musical score that suggests genuine peril while people squeegee windows and tie knots. It succeeds in being amusing but doesn’t hit the mark that it aims for. There is also, at times, a tendency for the score to fall into cheap porn trappings, which may or may not have been the intent during extended sequences of albatross fornication. Thankfully, the documentary is beautifully shot and is noble in intention, which will lead many to warm up to it despite its many faults. Included on the DVD are many short, unfinished segments, in addition to some animal specific musical montages with informational voiceovers, which often prove more interesting than the doc itself. In addition, a short featurette is included on musical creation that details how the awkward score came to be. (Seville)