1971-1980Amos Vogel: Film as a Subversive ArtArthouseDocumentaryGermanyWerner Herzog

Werner Herzog – Fata Morgana (1971)

Werner Herzog’s third feature is a haunting, sardonic exploration of Africa as it was “in the beginning,” and as it becomes glutted with the wastes of technological civilization. Amos Vogel writes of the film: “Marvelous, sensual, 360-degree travelling shots of animal cadavers, barbed wire, industrial wastes, decaying trucks, sudden oil wells, ominous surrealist tableaux — all embedded in tragically alienated landscapes of sand and disassociated natives — create an obsessional, hypnotic statement whose anti-technological, anti-totalitarian, cruelly anti-sentimental humanism is subtle, overpowering, and inexplicable to shallow Left and know-nothing Right.”

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.”

1.57GB | 1 h 16 min | 766×576 | mkv


Language(s):German, English (commentary)


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