12 September 2009

Antarctica, and the music of Vangelis

As I wrote the post below on "Jerusalem," a link took me to a film clip of Chariots of Fire, which led to a link about Vangelis, which immediately reminded me of his ethereal musical score for "Antarctica." The video above shows the final several minutes of that movie.

I want to be precise about which movie I'm recommending here - the 1983 Japanese film Nankyoku Monogatari ("South Pole Story"), retitled "Antarctica" for Amerian distribution. Details at the link, but basically the film tells the story of 15 Huskies who were unintentionally left behind at an Antarctic base and had to survive an Antarctic winter on their own.

The film is excruciatingly heart-breaking, and may be impossible for dog enthusiasts to watch in its entirety. There are certain transcendent moments, including one in which the near-starving dogs watch the Aurora Australis, if I remember correctly. Other scenes, including the one here -

show the dogs running joyfully across the frozen wastes of Antarctica. Accompanying all of this is an incredible score of synthesized music by Vangelis, perfectly adapted to the ethereal beauty of the continent.

The movie was later remade by Disney as "Eight Below." I believe I tried to watch it and gave up on discovering that it was in my view a pale shadow of the original movie.


  1. Thank you thank you for blogging about this movie. I saw it years ago and bawled my eyes out and wanted to see it again but forgot what it is. It's beautiful and wonderful, I'm going to look for it now. Thank you so much.

  2. Vangelis is great, he also did the soundtrack for Blade Runner, and but for some reason he teams up with a horrible whiny singer named Jon Anderson for a large portion of his work and it really ruins it for me.


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