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Werner Herzog's films

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by dreamwhip, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. dreamwhip

    dreamwhip New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Delaware, USA
    Recently I watched Aguirre The Wrath of God. My previous experience with Herzog's films were more recent movies such as Wild Blue Yonder and Rescue Dawn, as well as some of his documentaries, Grizzly man, My Best Fiend, mostly stuff from the past 10 or 15 years. Fitzcaraldo being the only eariler film I had seen. I had had Aguirre on my to see list for a while after seeing it on lists, and having watched My Best Fiend. After seeing Aguirre, though I was wowed by the beauty of the scenery, the performance of Kinski, and how I felt transported down the river as if it was really the 1600s and feeling the madness growing in Aguirre and the party traveling with him. I felt compelled to order the Anchor boxed set of the complete Herzog/Kinski films as a result. Any love or hate or comments anyone can add? Any suggestions of other films to see?
     
  2. Mr Alden

    Mr Alden New Member

    Location:
    Detroit Michigan
    I liked Rescue Dawn. But I was told to see his earlier films first. Right now I'm watching Aguirre The Wrath of God and I can tell that it is an acquired taste.

    By the way Good thread dreamwhip
     
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  3. christopher

    christopher Forum Neurotic

    A few months ago, I caught Incident at Loch Ness on cable and found it very funny. Here's Roger Ebert's review:

    http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041021/REVIEWS/41004007/1023

     
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  4. Good director. Particularly overlooked is his version (with Kinski) of Nosferatu - one of the most eerie and haunting horror films (and a very quiet film, too).

    Fitzcarraldo, Aguirre and Invincible are also exceptional, as is Les Blank's documentary on the making of Fitzcarraldo, Burden of Dreams.
     
  5. albertoderoma

    albertoderoma Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    I really liked Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo. But yes, an acquired taste.

    Alberto
     
  6. Walt

    Walt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    His version of Nosferatu is my favorite film adaptation of "Dracula."
     
  7. Eerie stuff, isn't it? The shot of Kinski moving slowly forward to the protagonist when he's in the castle is really haunting.
     
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  8. FredCamp

    FredCamp Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia
    FITZCARRALDO and NOSFERATU are must-sees, as is AGUIRRE, but I would also recommend THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (with the cooler European title EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST ALL), STROSZEK, LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, the documentary on which Herzog based RESCUE DAWN.
     
  9. townsend

    townsend Senior Member

    Location:
    Ridgway, CO
    Aguirre The Wrath of God was brilliant and haunting, esp. w/ the soundtrack work by Popol Vuh.

    The Grizzly Man was fascinating.

    Encounters At The End of the World almost put me into a coma . . . or I might say, deep freeze. I never warmed up to this movie.
     
  10. mike65!

    mike65! Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    Wow, this is weird. I just found this thread after watching Aguirre last night.

    I thought it was an okay movie. It was somewhat atmospheric, but there was nothing in the story that really kept me engaged.I knew what was going to happen to the characters (of course), but I didn't feel drawn in to their plight.

    If I was to recommend a Herzog film to anyone, it would be Nosferatu, one of my all time favorite films.
     
  11. dreamwhip

    dreamwhip New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Delaware, USA
    While I loved Aguirre, I have seen it twice and very recently, it does have this filmed on the cheap feel to it (as it was filmed on the cheap), and a few cheesy elements which are kind of funny, like that guys head still talking? LOL In his documentaries (I have seen a few more than I had mentioned, but not that loch ness one) he is kind of funny too. I did like how Grizzly man let the viewer decided if Timothy Treadwell was a kook or not, without being judgemental, but his documentaries really do have a bit of BS (intentional?) added here and there, which is kind of funny. It's like he doesn't take himself too seriously. Of course there is his use of nature. There is a scene in Little Dieter that I find interesting. It's Dieter Dangler talking in front of a tank of Jellyfish. He kind of ties it in to what he is talking about, but really, I just take it as a Herzog moment. It's really beautiful though. I have Nosferatu next on my list, esp since I have it in hand now.
     
  12. Mr Alden

    Mr Alden New Member

    Location:
    Detroit Michigan
    I feel the same way about Aguirre I'm finding it hard to get into the story
     
  13. jv66

    jv66 Estimated Dead Prophet

    Location:
    Montreal
    Herzog is the man. Stroszek is an absolute must, a wonderful dissection of American culture. Kaspar a wonderful dissection of European culture. If you love Klaus/Herzog, then Woyzek is quite the drama, and Nosferatu is the best vampire film ever in my opinion. Bruno Gantz in that is exquisite and Isabel Adjani is, well. Isabel Adjani.
     
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  14. Mr Alden

    Mr Alden New Member

    Location:
    Detroit Michigan
    I'll have to see Verner's version of Nosferatu. I am a big fan of F.W. Murnau's film with Max Schreck
     
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  15. B.Burl

    B.Burl New Member

    Location:
    Vancouver, Canada
    Yeah, The Grizzly Man was one of the most interesting documentaries I've seen. It was really cool that he had access to the footage Treadwell shot of himself, much of which was facinating. Like seeing him touch freshly released bear poo, and gleefully tell the camera how cool it is that it came out of the bear. It was laughable and disturbing. I also found it remarkable that footage existed of the bear killing Treadwell and his gf, which one of his friends kept in her house. Werner's reaction after viewing/listening was really interesting and spot on.
     
  16. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    Location:
    New England
    I think that anyone planning to watch Aguirre-The Wrath of God, should read , "Aguirre: Recreation of a Sixteenth-century Journey Across South America" by Stephen Minta. You'll have a better apprecaition for the story and mindset of the protagonist.

    This is interesting:

    "Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film Apocalypse Now, a movie based on Joseph Conrad's 1902 novella Heart of Darkness, was influenced also by "Aguirre", as it contains seemingly deliberate visual "quotations" of Herzog's film. Coppola himself has noted, "Aguirre", with its incredible imagery, was a very strong influence. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it."
     
  17. I may be too old for this thread, but my favorites besides Aguirre are Strozeck and Kaspar Hauser.
     
  18. Walt

    Walt Forum Resident

    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    :agree:


    There are also flashes of Herzog's Nosferatu in Bram Stoker's Dracula: Dracula's creeping shadow and his "Listen to the wolves" line.
     
  19. masswriter

    masswriter Minister At Large

    Location:
    New England
    I love Cobra Verde as well . . . Kinski is haunting in that film.
     
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  20. BrianInAtlanta

    BrianInAtlanta Forum Resident

    Location:
    Atlanta, Georgia
    I'd also recommend Hearts of Glass where the entire cast performs under the state of hypnotism and Stroszek that starts in Germany and ends in Wisconsin. That one ends with a funny yet horrifying dancing chicken in a sideshow.
     
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  21. mike65!

    mike65! Forum Resident

    Location:
    Connecticut
    I agree that a more detailed knowledge of the events would have made me appreciate more of what Herzog was trying to impart in this movie. My point is that in a movie, especially with historic significance, you should be able to have some sympathy for what motivates the characters, or at least want to know more of the topic at the end of the movie (if it's based on a true story).

    Aguirre seemed to be a movie for people who already know about the subject. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of a story and then taken back out, a voyeur who arrived late and left too soon. I just didn't care about any of the characters.
     
  22. Jerry

    Jerry Grateful Gort Staff

    Location:
    New England
    I felt that way when I first saw the movie back in the 80's. Then I found the Minta book a few years later, read it, and watched the movie again. Now that I had historical background, I was able to see what Herzog was doing with his characters. It's a different movie when you have some historical perspective.

    I also feel that Fitzcarraldo and Burden of Dreams are brilliant.
     
  23. dreamwhip

    dreamwhip New Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Delaware, USA
    I know there is a thread somewhere here that discusses this movie in particular. That bear poo incident was funny. Treadwell was so in awe of the bears, and so much wanted to be one, and touching the warm bear poo was such a treat to him.


    As for knowing the background of the history with Aguirre. The story was all made up, but I went into it knowing just a little about the Spanish conquistidors conquering south america and that there was a mythical El Dorado they were in search of, that there were quests to find it. I likened it more to the search of the holy grail which I knew much more about (the Arthurian legends and such). The story itself though was all made up, though there were real characters with those names that lived at different times. Maybe just knowing that little bit helped with my enjoyment, I don't know. I found it a bit of a Don Quixote like, hopeless quest.
     
  24. I agree that Stroszek is great - it's dark and despairing, but also engaging and funny in spots. Haven't seen much elase beyond Aguirre, so I suppose it's time to load up my rental queue.
     
  25. Theadmans

    Theadmans Forum Resident

    I find Stroszek haunting - particularly in the knowledge that Ian Curtis (Joy Division) watched the film late at night in Macclesfield home on British TV and then decided to hang himself in the kitchen.

    Find the end of Stroszek very hard to watch without thinking about what was going through Ian's mind that night. The suicide of the Stroszek character having escaped Europe for a supposed better life in the USA is hauntingly paralleled in the fact that Ian was about to fly to the US for Joy Division's first American tour in the morning.

    Herzog is my favourite director period. I also find Herzog's use of the music of Popol Vuh in his films particularly effective - the soundtrack to Aguirre is superb.
     
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