What I’ve Been Watching: Imperial Arctic Madness Edition

Many years ago I went through an Eskimo phase and read a lot of ethnographies and some other books on them. I was wondering how I might get to travel and study in Greenland (close to an Eskimo state though still technically under Danish… authority?).

And then I learned I don’t necessarily do super well in really cold weather. I moved into a wooden house (North Central Florida) where I was afraid to use the gas heater and the chimney didn’t work very well and froze my ass off even with a few space heaters.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania the terror amc madness

Better them than me is all I can say…

In this light moving to Poland wasn’t the brightest thing I’ve ever done but overall the benefits outweigh the drawbacks (called ‘winter’) with which I’ve come to an uneasy armistice. Though icy patches are still terrible because trying to learn to walk on ice is not a skill that’s easy to pick up as an adult…

But now I’ve started the Terror and am all in and the hellish icescape is even more hellish now that I know just how awful snow and ice are as daily companions. It’s a fictionalized version of a failed British attempt to sail two ships from the Atlantic to the Pacific by going North of Canada (through hundreds or thousands of miles of uncharted sea). There’s a lot going on with a trio of eminently talented actors as the heads of the ships.

One of the reasons the expedition failed was they had few people with any experience and they didn’t listen to them. Both ships get stuck in the ice and although they had provisions to last for several years things (the idea of getting stuck in the ice for a year or so was one they were mostly prepared for) things start going wrong and they start losing their shit individually and collectively. It’s wonderfully atmospheric, the cast is superb and there are a few great set pieces. The unexpected death of one major character is as freaky as hell with panicked bewilderment and disassociation as the leitmotifs. The soundtrack is unnaturally good.

The little bits they’ve had with Eskimos so far have been off (that’s not how igloos are made for starters) but I’m willing to let that slide for the time being. A (very large) supernatural element has been added but I’m choosing to view this as a symptom of the rapidly approaching madness. This is the kind of thing I can only watch in hot weather though… all that ice and snow…..

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