Author Topic: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog  (Read 8215 times)

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #60 on: January 04, 2009, 09:07:44 PM »
Quote
"The trees are in misery; the birds are in misery; I don't think they sing, they just shriek in pain...but there is some sort of harmony; the harmony of overwhelming, collective murder”

"And at age four I was in possession of a submachine gun, a functioning submachine gun, and my brother had a hand grenade  and I tried to shoot a bird, a crow, actually, because we were always hungry, so hunger is one of the great reminiscences of that time, two and a half years of hunger."

"It’s an inner image, it’s some sort of a deep metaphor, dormant inside of us that I make visible, metaphor for what I can’t tell, but I know it’s a huge metaphor, and it gives us insight into ourselves, into our visions, into our dreams, into our nightmares, whatever, you name it. But the twentieth century, I think, has—and going back to Petrarch—and actually I should make an elliptic detour. I think that the trouble began at the beginning of Neolithic times...(continues)"

"What have we done to our embarrassed landscapes? I have said this before and will repeat it again as long as I am able to talk: if we do not develop adequate images we will die out like dinosaurs. We need images in harmony with our civilization and our innermost conditioning."

"I can tell by just looking into a face that there is a person who knows how to milk a cow... and he really knew how to milk a cow, and that was where the ice broke. And how did I know? I cannot tell how did I know, but I know the heart of men, and I can tell who milks, who can milk a cow, and this is part of my profession."

"Fred Astaire is not a great—I mean, he’s the lousiest actor, he has got the most insipid face you can ever find in cinema,  and yet I adore him...he is some sort of a collective, a collective representation of some sort of a dream that is configured within ourselves."

Werner, I love you.

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2009, 12:33:24 AM »
I am currently reading Herzog's very rare book "Of Walking In Ice" (his diary of walking on foot from Munich to Paris in a blizzard). The English translation costs an absurd amount because it's out of print (at least 50 quid I think), but God bless University libraries!

It's a very strange but readable book and is pure undiluted Herzog. Here is a typical passage:

(describing a train on fire)

Quote
Unimaginable stellar catastrophes take place, entire worlds collapse into a single point. Light can no longer escape, even the profoundest blackness would seem like light and the silence would seem like thunder. The Universe is filled with Nothing , it is the Yawning Black Void. Systems of Milky Ways have condensed into Un-stars. Utter blissfulness is spreading, and out of utter blissfulness now springs the Absurdity. This is the situation. A dense cloud of flies and a plague of horseflies swirls around my head, so I'm forced to flail about with my arms, yet they pursue me bloodthirstily neverthless. How can I go shopping? They'll throw me out of the supermarket, along with the insect plague swarming around my head.

I would recommend reading it if you are a Herzog fan, especially as he claims to be a better writer than film-maker (he also claims that "Conquest of the Useless", his diaries of the making of Fitzcarraldo, is better than all his films put together).

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #62 on: February 03, 2009, 01:37:27 AM »
So Herzog won the lifetime achievement thingamy award at the BBC world cinema awards, the other day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00hd0jb/BBC_Four_World_Cinema_Award_2009/

Also while he was in town, there was a special screening of Encounters with an onstage Q&A between Herzog and Mark Kermode. Here's the transcript:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/jan/26/werner-herzog-interview

And here's some youtube footage of the interview:

1) On Living in L.A.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SDjpr9MNgjY

2) On Bad Lieutenant

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ABVLuwcpWN8&feature=related

3) On Encounters at the End of the World

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=h0YtNfQr0Vk&feature=related

4) On adequate images:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iTuX8zE8H28&feature=channel_page

Is it worth me bumping this thread like this? Does anyone care?


chocky909

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #63 on: February 03, 2009, 02:46:55 AM »
TL:DR











Only joking. I read it. I saw some of the awards thing last night so I was interested enough to check it out. I had no idea he was remaking Bad Lieutenant although it's probably been mentioned earlier. What a strange film to remake.

joeyzaza

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #64 on: March 24, 2009, 07:27:08 PM »
Grizzly Man is showing on More4 tonight at 22:00 (and also repeated later on at 02:20):
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Werner Herzog's acclaimed documentary tells the tragic story of Timothy Treadwell, an animal-loving outsider who spent 13 years living among grizzly bears in Alaska, until one of them killed him and his girlfriend. The simple film, which includes footage taken by the subject himself, highlights both the beauty and dangers of wild animals, and also provides an intriguing insight into the human condition

It's followed at 00:10 by a documentary on the creation of the soundtrack:
Quote
In The Edges: The Grizzly Man Sessions

Documentary in which filmmaker Erik Nelson provides insight into the creation of the score for Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man. This programme discovers how the German director's sense of creative style attracted renowned British guitarist Richard Thompson to the project - resulting in an original soundtrack that uniquely blended vocal and instrumental styles to great effect.

I've yet to see Grizzly Man, so I'm looking forward to this enormously.

CaledonianGonzo

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #65 on: March 24, 2009, 08:05:17 PM »
Grizzly Man is indeed well worth a couple of hours of anyone's time - the doc on afterwards sounds like the extra that's on the DVD.

Lee

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #66 on: March 24, 2009, 11:37:46 PM »
Prior to seeing GM the only Herzog film I'd seen was Even Dwarves Started Small, which to be honest I still find pretty impenetrable. GM on the other hand... well, it says something about a film that it actually makes me cry - last time that happened was watching The Snowman as a child. But when Herzog's listening to that tape, and his hand's shaking, Palovak's sobbing, and the exchange following the tape, that gets to me more than any other piece of cinema I've ever seen. Even just thinking about it gives me a lump in my throat. That alone would elevate it to one of the best films, let alone documentaries I've ever seen, but it's just such a unique insight into human nature that, from what I've seen of cinema, fiction couldn't even hope to convey. Not just Treadwell's either, but that of the people who found his remains, Palovak, even Herzog himself. Definetely makes me want to give his other works another go. Not often that a film makes me end up talking like an over-emotional pretentious twat either, come to think of it.

And yes, that's the same music doc as on the DVD. I'm more interested in hearing Herzog's outro immediately following the More4 showing though, probably showing around 11:55pm.

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #67 on: March 25, 2009, 06:27:06 PM »
Good post, Lee.

The crazy thing is that GM isn't really even his best film (although it's up there). I would really recommend watching:

Documentaries:

Encounters at the End of the World
The White Diamond
Fata Morgana
My Best Fiend

Features:

Heart of Glass (the ending of this may be my favourite moment of cinema ever)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Stroszek
Aguirre


joeyzaza

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2009, 07:56:41 PM »
Re: Grizzly Man

I don't think there's another filmmaker who could have come close to achieving what Herzog did with the source material. It's fortunate that the footage, as he put it, "fell into his lap". The tape-listening scene in particular was electric: "You must never listen to this".

While he was critical (via some exquisitely dry narration) of Treadwell's sentimental and anthropomorphicised view of nature, he wasn't unsympathetic towards his protagonist. Other directors may have taken either one view or the other, portraying him as either martyr or fool.

We're given plenty of insight into how Treadwell ended up where he did: a desire to be famous/important, an addictive personality, which apparently saw him swap one addiction (alcohol) for another (wildlife). He also seemed to have harboured a death wish, and would probably have been content with martyrdom. I never warmed to him, and every clip of him talking into his camera brought to mind an internet "camwhore". Perhaps if YouTube had existed when he first headed off into the wilderness, he might still be alive today.

His belief that he was "protecting" the bears was somewhat tenuous, and it seems more likely that he was playing out a long-held fantasy, whilst also engaging in a competition with the rangers and his fellow nature-lovers over who "cared the most" about the animals. The irony of one of the bears ultimately killing his "protector" might well have been lost on him.

All in all, an excellent addition to Herzog's canon of work exploring man's arrogant belief that he is somehow above (and can therefore tame) nature.


Regarding recommendations, "Aguirre, Wrath Of God" is still my favourite, and covers similar themes to "Grizzly Man".

"ICH BIN DER ZORN GOTTES!"

Benevolent Despot

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2009, 08:46:52 PM »
I watched Encounters today, and did enjoy it - it was a nice way to pass a couple of hours, but I didn't see it as the profound film which many have made it out to be. It had a few nice ideas, funny segments and obligatory oddballs - and some great photography (Although, the version I watched was a so-so quality torrent, and I imagine the DVD or Blu-ray versions would look stunning in places). I thought it worked, but not much more than that.

I did love the bit about the suicidal penguin though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_2_XElV1-Y

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #70 on: April 25, 2009, 02:20:34 PM »
Encounters at the End of the World is on general release! Yay! It's about six months since I saw it at a one-off screening so I am eager to return to it and see if it holds up to my memory of it being really, really good.

I would urge anyone who even has the slightest interest in Herzog to see it in the cinema. Let's face it, it's gonna be better than 90% of all the Hollywood pap that's also out at the moment. See it for the cinematography and music alone!

If you're wanted to get into the man's films and haven't made the plunge yet, this would be a good one to start with as it's very accessible and is typical Herzog fare.

Here's a nice little guardian article from a week or so back:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/apr/16/werner-herzog-antarctica-encounters

boxofslice

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #71 on: May 28, 2009, 08:19:01 AM »
It appears from this clip that Herzog has remade Bad Lieutenant as a comedy.

http://twitchfilm.net/site/view/shoot-abel-ferrara-again.-his-soul-is-still-dancing#extended

One question, why do producers still cast Nicholas Cage? Every performance is so over-the-top to the point of cartoonish - he has no understanding of subtle.

Kishi the Bad Lampshade

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #72 on: June 28, 2009, 04:06:10 PM »
Just watched Grizzly Man, my first (of what will soon be many) go at a Herzog film.

It was brilliant, of course it's not all down to Herzog as Treadwell's footage is not only beautiful in terms of the nature footage he gets, but speaks volumes about Treadwell himself. You could watch that and it'd be great in itself, but the way it's put together, having the grisly death at the beginning rather than the end, and the interviews with people who knew him (and the heartbreaking bit where Herzog listens to the tape of the death), means I'm no eager to check out more of his stuff. The gradual revealing of Treadwell as a nutcase is great, I started out liking him for his simplistic and nature-loving view on life before realising how angry, vain and unbalanced he actually was. And I think it's interesting that Herzog picked him as a subject, because the two of them are so different, he seemed to find him almost another species.

Thank you for reading my crap musings, I'm sure you found them utterly revolutionary

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #73 on: June 29, 2009, 04:21:41 PM »
Just watched Grizzly Man, my first (of what will soon be many) go at a Herzog film.

It was brilliant, of course it's not all down to Herzog as Treadwell's footage is not only beautiful in terms of the nature footage he gets, but speaks volumes about Treadwell himself. You could watch that and it'd be great in itself, but the way it's put together, having the grisly death at the beginning rather than the end, and the interviews with people who knew him (and the heartbreaking bit where Herzog listens to the tape of the death), means I'm no eager to check out more of his stuff. The gradual revealing of Treadwell as a nutcase is great, I started out liking him for his simplistic and nature-loving view on life before realising how angry, vain and unbalanced he actually was. And I think it's interesting that Herzog picked him as a subject, because the two of them are so different, he seemed to find him almost another species.
I have it on my shelf and keep meaning to watch it. In terms of where to go next, you can't go much wrong with the Herzog / Kinski box set.

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #74 on: September 17, 2009, 10:40:57 AM »
The redemption of Nicholas Cage?

Bad Lieutenant Movie Trailer

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #75 on: September 17, 2009, 01:03:03 PM »
Responses to the trailers so far have been overwhelmingly, extremely negative but I actually like the look of it. A completely different approach for the Ferrara film but I think that's one of the things I like.

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #76 on: September 17, 2009, 01:12:57 PM »
It's been getting some cracking notices from critics, whilst on the festival circuit - with one person saying that they think it's a career best. Looking forward to this one...

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #77 on: October 03, 2009, 02:56:37 PM »
Just re-watched Grizzly Man again today and it inspired me to add it to my DVD collection. Then I noticed that there was a box set released at the end of August this year, which you can pick up for under fifteen quid at Zavvi.

So I now have the following being delivered, all of which are new to me aside from Grizzly...

Encounters at the end of the world
Grizzly Man
White Diamond
La Soufriere &
Flying Doctors of East Africa

Any recommendations on what order I should watch these in?

jaydee81

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #78 on: October 06, 2009, 04:05:40 PM »
Is there nothing more frustrating than when they release a box set with a DVD you already own in it? I couldn't buy that box set as I couldn't stand to have my old copy of Grizzly Man LAUGH at me.
Bought Encounters for £7 in HMV today. Woop

Sam

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #79 on: October 08, 2009, 04:54:08 PM »

Encounters at the end of the world
Grizzly Man
White Diamond
La Soufriere &
Flying Doctors of East Africa

Any recommendations on what order I should watch these in?

Flying Doctors of East Africa belongs to the trio of African films he made that include Fata Morgana and Dwarfs. The latter two are brilliant and essential but the first is not really a documentary in the manner of his classics ones, more a gebrauchsfilm (film for use). I am puzzled as to why this is on the box set as the number could have been made up with one of his more substantial docs like 'The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner' or 'Land of Silence and Darkness'. Flying Doctors may only be of interest to completists and not an ideal choice of a boxset aimed at newcomers.

So the order you could watch them is:

Grizzly Man (although you have already seen this, I gather)
White Diamond
Encounters
La Soufriere

Really, you need to watch Aguirre, Kaspar Hauser, Stroszek to get a real feel for his work as well as one of the off-the-wall films such as Even Dwarfs..., Fata Morgana, Heart of Glass etc

By the way, I got his new book 'Conquest of the Useless' for my birthday and it's a good read, being more a view into his head than any kind of actual production diary for Fitzcarraldo.

I look forward to his next couple of features, which both look interesting.

vrailaine

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #80 on: October 08, 2009, 06:53:31 PM »
Odd this got bumped there now, watched Aguirre for the first time ever there last night.

Outstanding stuff on the whole, seemed to be an amazing job done with the budget, although my accounting of inflation could be way off.

Also, what's the exact pronounciation of Aguirre? I don't wanna look like an idiot saying it wrong everywhere.

falafel

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2009, 03:55:54 PM »
PS as I didn't quite note in the new films thread, a mate of mine has now seen Bad Lieutenant and says it's fab. There I was, doubting away. I shall have to see this.

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2009, 04:32:25 PM »
....Also, what's the exact pronounciation of Aguirre? I don't wanna look like an idiot saying it wrong everywhere.

*resists temptation to steer you wrong* Based on Alex Cox’s pronunciation when it was on Moviedrome, I’ve used  ah-gee-ray. (I’ve just checked online and this is right, which is a comforting…) 

PS as I didn't quite note in the new films thread, a mate of mine has now seen Bad Lieutenant and says it's fab. There I was, doubting away. I shall have to see this.

Ah, that’s good to hear – the write-ups I’ve seen have been positive and it’s nice to get some good word of mouth as well.

jaydee81

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #83 on: October 29, 2009, 10:30:12 AM »
Wow! Watched Encounters At The End Of The World last night and it blew my mind. The bit where they swim under the ice and Herzog says it was like going into a church was particularly amazing. Does anyone know more about the music? Is it just straight up choral stuff all the way through, or is it a particular kind of choral music? It said it was written by two guys, one I think was the cameraman.
Also loved Herzog's disgust at the South Pole base's 'yoga classes.'

Ged

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #84 on: October 29, 2009, 10:37:36 PM »
Wow! Watched Encounters At The End Of The World last night and it blew my mind. The bit where they swim under the ice and Herzog says it was like going into a church was particularly amazing. Does anyone know more about the music? Is it just straight up choral stuff all the way through, or is it a particular kind of choral music? It said it was written by two guys, one I think was the cameraman.
Also loved Herzog's disgust at the South Pole base's 'yoga classes.'

can't help with the music, but just wanted to recommend Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder if you haven't seen it --- the same sort of diving under ice footage is presented as the exploration of an alien planet with sublime effect. It got a little ignored when it came out, but I think it's one of Herzog's very best and Brad Dourif's performance is just wonderful.

Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #85 on: October 29, 2009, 10:47:56 PM »
can't help with the music, but just wanted to recommend Herzog's The Wild Blue Yonder if you haven't seen it --- the same sort of diving under ice footage is presented as the exploration of an alien planet with sublime effect. It got a little ignored when it came out, but I think it's one of Herzog's very best and Brad Dourif's performance is just wonderful.

Aye, wonderful stuff!

joeyzaza

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Re: Werner Herzog is a Superhero!, or, The Films of Werner Herzog
« Reply #86 on: December 19, 2009, 04:31:18 PM »
Ooh! Encounters at the End of the World is on More4 this Tuesday at 22:00 (and repeated later that night at 01:15). I haven't seen it yet, so colour me excited.