Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog – Jag Mandir (1991)

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Jag Mandir is a quiet and often overlooked film in the vast oeuvre of Werner Herzog. Apparently, 20 hours of footage was shot that covered the whole fest and the film hardly presents us a twentieth of that. A native walking into the film in between may well fail to immediately realize that it is his country that is being shown and these are figures from the mythology of various sections of his nation. You might take if for a scene from a procession in Thailand or a sketch from festival from Africa or even a snapshot from the gala celebrations in Brazil. Such is the diversity it presents that it reminds us of those clichés about Indian culture. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel AKA Wings of Hope (2000)

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Werner Herzog returns to the South American jungle with Juliane Koepcke, the German woman who was the sole survivor of a plane crash there in 1971. They find the remains of the plane and recreate her journey out of the jungle. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Encounters at the End of the World (2007)

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The film perfectly balances both gorgeous footage of the continent as well as fascinating interviews and anecdotes of the many researchers and workers of the McMurdo research station. It fits in well with Herzog’s already substantial canon. It is a beautiful look at a beautiful continent populated by a forklift driver with a PhD, a woman who once traveled to South America in a sewage pipe on the back of a truck, researchers who play electric guitars on top of research station to celebrate discovering three new species of aquatic life in one day, and many more. Their stories converge where all the lines on the map meet at the end of the world. Herzog shot the film with a crew of just himself and the camera operator, and the result is a film with some of the most beautiful footage I’ve ever seen. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Glocken aus der Tiefe AKA Bells from the Deep (1993)

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Bells From The Deep is a fabulous look at the faith and superstitions of human beings living in Russia and Siberia. Herzog quietly observes his subjects and never appears obtrusive. The camera of Jorg Schmit-Reitwen (Heart of Glass, Kaspar Hauser) captures many incredible moments as Herzog and crew move from one subject to another with grace and wonder. Herzog never questions or dissects his subjects rituals or beliefs, rather observes and embraces them for all they are. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Die Große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner aka The Great Ecstasy of the Woodcarver Steiner (1974)

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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. Read More »

Werner Herzog – Behinderte Zukunft AKA Handicapped Future (1971)

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Handicapped Future is a 1971 documentary film by Werner Herzog about physically disabled children in Munich. The film was made at the request of a disabled friend of Herzog’s, specifically in order to raise awareness for the cause of the disabled in West Germany. Read More »

Werner Herzog – How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck… (1976)

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Herzog examines the world championships for cattle auctioneers, his fascination with a language created by an economic system, and compares it to the lifestyle of the Amish, who live nearby. Read More »