Jonathan Gold's 101 Best Restaurants: The new list is here

Science, art at play in 'Expedition to the End of the World'

Eccentric, witty and chummy group of scientists and artists propel 'Expedition to the End of the World'

In Daniel Dencik's agreeably meditative, beautifully shot documentary "Expedition to the End of the World," a three-masted schooner carries a cadre of scientists and artists to a mostly ice-encrusted region of northeast Greenland that, because of global warming, is now passable for a few weeks each year.

The mostly uncharted area and its exploratory bounty provoke this eccentric, witty and chummy group — experts in archaeology, marine biology, geology and the visual arts — to philosophize on evolution and humankind's impact. They fish, take samples, wander, draw, record and speculate on what that polar bear in the distance is up to.

Is life a rare event? Are we changing our environment too fast for us to adapt to it? Is it hubris to talk of climate change as bad if the planet is essentially a history of natural disasters?

Composed of breathtaking images and cheeky bits of humor, Dencik's travelogue reveals a journey with curious traces of the past, eye-popping encounters with a wild present and — in discovering an oil company's ship in the group's midst — a weighted reminder of our future as stewards of the Earth.

"Expedition to the End of the World."

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 29 minutes.

Playing at the Downtown Independent, Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times