Life in the Freezer (1993)





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Life in the Freezer is a startling portrait of Antarctica as a dramatic, violent, yet ultimately poetic ecosystem. It's also a miraculously beautiful documentary that can stir an armchair adventurer, make one wish to be standing alongside host David Attenborough as he gazes at the dream-like enormity of glaciers ("glass-yeers," as Attenborough pronounces it) or visits one of the pristine, Georgian islands where seabirds flock during Antarctica's version of spring and summer. With its frozen mass subject to cyclical expansions and retractions, Antarctica's changes determine the feeding, mating, and habitat patterns of a wide variety of wildlife. Life in the Freezer's multi-episode format allows each of those changes to be explored in rich detail. Attenborough demonstrates why certain birds migrate to Antarctica at the same time that humpback and killer whales show up to feed on swarms of shrimp-like krill. In some of the most amazing footage in the series, bull elephant seals appear on Antarctica's shores to manage their harems, mate as often as possible, and brutally fight to keep competitors away. As for penguins: they march, they partner up, they stand still in sub-zero snowstorms. But they also end up as seal prey (a darkly comic sight) and vault through sea waves like mythic heroes. This 1993 series is something special, easily surpassing March of the Penguins as a vision of life in the harshest environment on Earth. --Tom Keogh
Warner Home Video


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Audience Reviews for Life in the Freezer


A whole three hours, six half-hour episodes, of footage from the rare life found in the virtually lifeless Antarctica like various penguins and some whals and seals and aves. "Created by National Geographic in conjunction with the BBC" apparently, and that English guy David Attenborough narrates. I can't say it's as exciting as other series of nature documentaries. The subjects become redundant after two or three episodes but it's only because the series intended on showcasing every facet, no matter how similar to the other, about the antarctic. Some expectedly colorful shots of the environment are captured and close up shots of even the dangerous bickering animals show full detail. However, the close attention of birds regurgitating for their young makes you sick and long for the John Carpenter version of Antarctica.

Richard Cranium
Richard Cranium

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