Through examining Fini Straubinger, an old woman who has been deaf and blind since adolescence, and her work on behalf of other deaf and blind people, this film shows how the deaf and blind... See full summary »
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 ... See full summary »
The story of a solitary man who refuses to leave a Greek island (at one time a leper colony) is told by a strange variety of characters who don't have much to say except to repeat their ... See full summary »
The film features several horse trainers and other track workers talking about their roles at the track, always eventually interrupted by an older man who claims to be the true authority, ... See full summary »
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.
A wounded German paratrooper named Stroszek is sent to the quiet island of Kos with his wife Nora, a Greek nurse, and two other soldiers recovering from minor wounds. Billeted in a decaying... See full summary »
Werner Herzog and his crew went to the African country of Cameroon a few weeks after a coup attempt took place to shoot the film. The police arrested the director after misidentifying a crew member as a wanted criminal. He and several crew members were beaten and thrown into a cell. Herzog contracted bilharzia, a blood parasite. See more »
One of the weirdest and most perplexing art films I have ever seen
Fata Morgana is, by far, one of the weirdest and most perplexing art films I have ever seen. I hesitate to call it a documentary because, while is does have elements of documentation of it's images, the images themselves are so unusual, so hallucinogenic, so unclear, that I wonder whether it was really worth telling this story just so that these images can exist. The film basically is the tale of the earth and the creation of the earth shot from the perspective of an outsider, be it alien or something otherwise indescribable, all taking place in the Sahara desert. The title of the picture relates to the illusion or reflection of images, both real and hallucinated, that people in the desert often witness. These are also known as mirages.
The film opens with a plane landing followed by the plane landing again and then again and again and again and again and again and again. With each plane landing shot, the actual architecture of both the location it is landing at and the plane itself begin to slowly dissolve into one another and grow less and less real and more and more reflective imagery. The imagery in this film only grows more intense and more unusual as the picture continues. The narration of the film tells of the creation of the universe as alarming sexual images of sand and landscape move past the camera. The shots go further and further into the desert and Herzog films whatever he sees and finds. The strangest reflections of the world are on display in the distance while Herzog meets some of the most pure and photogenic collections of outsiders that you are ever likely to see. When the Leonard Cohen soundtrack kicks in, you can be sure that you are in the world of a mad man who is in love with the universe.
I cannot say too much more about this film without ruining anything, but I will say that it is a sobering experience and there's really nothing like it. I love seeing films that are just in classes of their own. This film certainly is a good example of how Herzog loves to intermingle narrative storytelling and documentary film-making into an interchangeable form. Fata Morgana unfortunately does overstay it's welcome just a bit, but by the time it nears it's end the images will most likely be burned into your mind forever. Definitely a must-see for those who are obsessed with the nature and the origin of the universe.
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