Top Five Snowpocalypse Movies

Snowpacalypse DC (c) Katy Jones. 2010.
(c) Katy Jones

Beware the DC Snowpacalypse! We’re buried under snow over here! 30 inches this weekend with another 6-12 inches scheduled to hit on Tuesday. The federal government is closed, and with it most businesses. (Fortunately, most bars are still open – so there is hope in sight!)

This is the perfect weekend to sit inside and watch movies and to remind oneself that while snow can be irritating, it can also be part of some pretty movies.

Top Five Snowpocalypse Documentaries

1. March of the Penguins
This is one of those movies I will watch over and over again. This is a great story with great challenges, and beautiful scenery. I know, I know, anthropomorphizing animals bad. Whatev. This movie is awesome. Luc Jacquet followed the lives of Emperor penguins in Antarctica for a year, producing an amazing touching documentary about the beauty of childbirth, love, and birds in one of the most forbidding, frightening, and deadly environments on earth. Anthropomorphizing or not – beautiful footage plus Morgan Freeman’s narration makes this one of the few love stories I actually enjoy. (P.S. Oscar winner)

2. Planet Earth – Ice Worlds
This lavishly shot documentary series really set a new bar for blue-chip natural history filmmaking. It is breathtaking to watch. In this six part series that spans the globe, the episode “Ice Worlds” focuses on those amazing animals that find ways to survive in frozen worlds.

3. The Endurance
I actually saw this in theaters years ago and loved it, but I rarely hear people take about it these days. A history-based feature doc. Wow. This doc covers the story of the Shackleton expedition of 1914. If you aren’t familiar with it – their ship, the Endurance, gets stranded and crushed in Antarctica, forcing the band of explorers to find new ways to survive in a completely unexplored icy wilderness. Through creative means, they explored, took pictures, footage, AND came back. An excellent testament to the human spirit. Also, well-researched with great story-telling.

4. Winged Migration
This movie isn’t technically about an icy world – but it’s about birds fleeing it. With no narration, none, zip, this amazing film follows the migration of birds as winter comes calling. I saw this one in theaters, and held my breath most of the time. This movie gets you as close as humanly (viewerly) possible to flight. These days watching on a Blue Ray has got to be one equally amazing experience. (P.S. Oscar nominee – guess Oscar likes birds)

5.Extreme Ice
National Geographic photographer James Balog uses time-lapse photography to track the disappearance of the extreme ice of the great ice packs in the world. Massive ice, a planet in danger, risky photojournalism, and beautiful scenery. All in one NOVA-sized package.

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