Werner Herzog’s The Great Ecstacy of Woodcarver Steiner is a glimpse of a man who is quite amazing at his gift of ski-jumping- he’s the world record holder at the time of filming (and a record he actually tops over himself more than once)- and how he’s all the more impressive because of his humble attitude towards the activity. He’s a woodcarver as his other profession, but has it as his primary obsession to fly, to get whisked away someplace that is of his design but not entirely of his control. And he’s affected by the pressure of his own skills, skills he acknowledges but doesn’t flaunt; like some comic-book hero, he has to deal with the responsibilities he has at his disposal, of not going down for his audience (who might want to see that happen), or for himself, and at the same time staying true to his gifts. He’s often by his own, seen through Herzog’s long lens contemplating or trying to stay on his own two feet well enough when not ski-jumping. But he knows that he can’t be brought down, as his touching story about his pet raven as a kid, who got pecked away by other birds, and in order to stop it, as an act of compassion, he shot it down. At the end of the day, however, the thrill of flight is all that counts, high scores be damned.
1.04GB | 45 min 41 s | 766×576 | mkv