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
Info from wiki,
Fata Morgana is a film by Werner Herzog, shot in 1969, which captures mirages in the desert. Herzog describes the film as “a documentary shot by extraterrestrials from the Andromeda Nebula, and left behind.” The only spoken words consist of a recitation of the Mayan creation myth (the Popul Vuh) by Lotte Eisner, and text written and recited by Herzog himself.
The critic David Thomson describes Fata Morgana as “extraordinary”: “[The] desert is a model for mankind. The film is in three sections: the first showing an unpeopled, beautiful wasteland; the second introducing signs of human wreckage; and the third showing wretched vestiges of life. Totally imaginative, it is a legend of life at extremes that exposes the fatuity of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Whereas Stanley Kubrick glibly assumes some all-powerful, riddle-making consciousness behind the universe, Herzog’s creator is as fallible, quirky and uncertain as man himself.” Continue reading
Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Heart of Glass (Herz aus Glas) is essentially a treatise by Werner Herzog on the power and importance of art. Director Herzog was known to put his actors through the wringer to get the results he wanted. In this film, Herzog decided that the best way to get his people to dance to the crack of his whip was to actually put them under hypnosis! The dazed, zombie-like performances certainly fit the subject matter. This is the story of an 18th-century Bavarian glassblower who by virtue of his delicate work virtually casts a spell over his neighbors. When the glassblower dies, the townsfolk discover that he failed to leave behind the secret for his special ruby glassware — and will do literally anything to find the answer. The word usually used to describe Heart of Glass is “haunting”; some viewers have gone beyond haunted and into “possessed.” Watch carefully and spot director Herzog in a bit as a glass carrier. Continue reading