For much of the time, the location consisted of three differently-sized rafts slowly gliding down the head-waters of the mighty Amazon river: one for the action proper, a second to set up the camera on, and a third one, dangling a few miles behind so as not to be in frame, providing basic accommodation and meals. Scorching sun, high humidity and mosquitoes galore took their toll. At one point Kinski, forever true to his reputation, insisted on the fulfilment of his contract: if no air-con room at night, no work. With this luxury about 1,000 km away, Herzog saw only one chance to save his film: at gunpoint he threatened to kill Kinski and later explain his disappearance with an unfortunate incident in the perilous waters. As we all know, Kinski kept on working. Continue reading
“I think anyone who claims they know what’s going to happen to the internet is not worth listening to.” This summation of the way we understand and can predict the interconnectivity of the future seems an apposite way to begin a discussion of Werner Herzog’s expansive, nebulous investigation in Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. The notion that we can’t really know anything is catnip for a director who revels in intricate philosophical enquiry. Audiences undoubtedly excited by the lip-smacking prospect of an intent documentary from the man who asked a journalist, baffled, whether Pokémon GO resulted in murder. Continue reading
If Werner Herzog’s The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser is, as I contend, an exegesis on the human tendency to contextualize life through custom – not to mention, of course, the inculcative parallels through which both we and less domesticated species glean long-term behavioral patterns – then his 1976 work, Heart of Glass, is an admonishment on holding such traditions in too high of sentiment. Despite revolving ostensibly about an 18th century Bavarian village, the director appears to be simply employing this milieu as but a microcosm for any culture that’s extinction draws nigh, painting progress and evolution as more reliable entities than ritual and superstition. Heart of Glass’s diaphanous narrative is laden with hints to such contemplations, though in the end, none reads as poetically oblique as the opening sequence: A formal and spoken manifestation of death. Continue reading
An exploration of active volcanoes in Indonesia, Iceland, North Korea and Ethiopia, Herzog follows volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer, who hopes to minimize the volcanoes’ destructive impact. Herzog’s quest? To gain an image of our origins and nature as a species. He finds that the volcano – mysterious, violent, and rapturously beautiful – instructs us that, “there is no single one that is not connected to a belief system”. Continue reading
Werner Herzog’s exploration of the Internet and the connected world.
Capture the spectacular
When the legendary director Werner Herzog was 19, he stole a camera and made his first movie. 70 films and 50 awards later, Werner is teaching documentary and feature filmmaking. You’ll learn storytelling, cinematography, locations, self-financing, documentary interview techniques, and how to bring your ideas to life. By the end, you’ll make uncompromising films.
26 VIDEO LESSONS
Watch, listen, and learn as Werner covers every aspect of filmmaking, from pre-production to distribution.
A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials. Continue reading
The inhabitants of an institution in a remote country rebel against their keepers. Their acts of rebellion are by turns humorous, boring and alarming. An allegory on the problematic nature of fully liberating the human spirit, as both commendable and disturbing elements of our nature come forward. The film shows how justifiable revolt may be empowering, but may also turn to chaos and depravity. The allegory is developed in part by the fact that the film is cast entirely with dwarfs. Continue reading