Werner Herzog – Into the Inferno (2016)


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 – Werner Herzog Masterclass (2016)

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.

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

Werner Herzog – Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen AKA Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970)



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

Werner Herzog – Fata Morgana (1971)


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

Werner Herzog – Herz aus Glas AKA Heart of Glass (1976)


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

Werner Herzog – Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit AKA Land of Silence and Darkness (1971)

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Herzog’s magisterial magnificence comes into fuller focus with this “documentary” which reveals new facets of his creative genius. If Signs of Life and Even Dwarfs Started
Small are secret works, hiding his true intentions, and if the brutally sardonic, metaphysical Fata Morgana reveals them, this unbearably moving account of the lives of the deaf-and-blind confirms Herzog as a mysterious new humanist of the 1970s, light-years removed from the sentimentality of the Italian neo-realists and the simplistic propaganda of untalented documentary film radicals. When a deaf-and-blind man, living in total “darkness and silence”,
first gingerly touches a leaf, a branch, a tree, and finally enfolds its trunk in a wordless and sensuous embrace, we are in the presence of the true suffering (and hope) of humanity and the true genius of a great filmmaker.

-from Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art Continue reading