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No one can imbue narration with a shroud of absurd bleakness quite like legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog. His chilling voiceovers on documentaries like “Grizzly Man” or “Caves of Forgotten Dreams” instantly turn your spine into glass and drown you in a pit of despair.
Now what if he read the most famous Christmas poem of all time? You can bet your ass those stockings will Not be hung by the chimney with care, that’s for darn sure.
Ryan Iverson has created a 2-minute YouTube video that answers this question in spades, here’s just a taste…
“‘Twas the night before Christmas, a season ruled by all-consuming desire… ”
Iverson’s impression of Herzog is dead-on, and has also done videos of “Herzog” reading “Madeline” and “Curious George.” We kinda wish the man who covered Klaus Kinski with insanity monkeys, pulled a steamship through the Peruvian jungle, and saved Joaquin Phoenix »
- Max Evry
Awww, photos of two brother bears hugging at a national park in Alaska! It’s all the adorableness of Grizzly Man, but without any delusional cause-addicts getting themselves predictably mauled! Cuuuute! Though I’m sure some buzzkill scientician will explain that this isn’t actually a hug, it’s probably some horrible instinctual behavior that looks like a hug (they’re resting up to tag-team murder their cubs so their females go back into heat or something), but whatever it is, it sure looks adorable to me, and that’s the only science I care about! Also, ichthyology. After the jump, two more pics of the brother bears bro’in it up: »
- Dan Hopper
60 Minutes: Lara Logan profiles the actor/producer Mark Wahlberg, who she says “has made a career of reinventing himself like no one else in show business,” just a few weeks before the release of “The Fighter,” a film that he produced and stars in as his childhood hero. He takes her back to Boston and opens up about his “reckless youth,” including an assault that he committed at the age of 16 that left a man blind and resulted in him serving 45 days in jail. That harrowing experience, he says, gave him the drive to make something more of his life — first as a rapper, then as a model, and now as an Oscar-nominated actor and producer who is on the brink of unveiling his “proudest achievement” yet.
Gold Derby: Tom O’Neil claims that certain members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association “absolutely love” the recent blockbuster thriller “Red” and »
- Mary Skawinski
The fearless director's work is less predictable, more dangerous and more real than almost anything else in modern cinema
An alligator hit by a car lies squirming on a blood-smeared road outside New Orleans. It's terribly realistic, and there's nothing at the end of the film to say it was created with special effects – nor did I notice one of those declarations that no animals were hurt during the making of the film. What I did spot was a credit saying that Werner Herzog, the film's director, personally photographed the animal scenes in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans.
You wouldn't want to be an animal in a Herzog movie. Few of them seem to lack a scene of animal cruelty. In Aguirre, Wrath of God the crazed conquistador antihero, played by Klaus Kinski, tosses aside a monkey as if it were a banana skin. In Nosferatu the Vampyre, »
- Jonathan Jones
You will find few more vocal fans of "Grizzly Man" than me. I think Werner Herzog is one of the great wild men of cinema, frequently drawn to a challenge in the world of film simple to be the one who conquers it. My first exposure to him was when I saw "Burden Of Dreams," the documentary about the making of "Fitzcarraldo," and watching this crazy German man try to push a boat up a mountain in the middle of the jungle, I immediately fell for him. I love filmmakers like this, guys who seem touched by madness, and whose madness »
The films of Werner Herzog haunt that hazy corridor between dream and reality, where madness and the true nature of the universe lurk. They're surreal, but not by any of the boiler-plate attributes we associate with head-trip cinema. They're horrific, but never by cheap shocks. They're beautiful, but not in a painterly sense. Each one is a tone poem searching for both new images and what Herzog calls the "ecstatic truth," a blending of fact and fiction for a higher cause. There's a uniqueness to his films that's unforgettable.
I not only admire Herzog's films, I admire the man behind them. Herzog's fearlessness is fascinating. He's an artist who risks it all to get "the shot." Studio backlot shooting is not an option. His obsessive, nearly self-destructive need to film in the hottest of »
- David Frank
• Toronto Report #3
Werner Herzog and Errol Morris have been friends for a very long time, from the days in the 1970s when Morris saw Herzog's first films at the Univ. of Wisconsin and decided to become a filmmaker. Errol told Herzog of a film he wanted to shoot, but kept delaying. Herzog told him he needed more self-discipline. He added: "If you make this film, I'll eat my shoe."
That led to a famous evening at the Pacific Film archive in Berkeley, at which Herzog sat on the stage and did indeed eat his shoe. He was assisted in its preparation by the famous chef Alice Waters -- perhaps suggesting that you can find everything you don't want at Alice's Restaurant. The meal was the subject of a famous documentary by Les Blank titled "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe."
On Sept. 13, 2010, Morris and Herzog both premiered their new films at »
- Roger Ebert
Ladies, gentleman and man-eating bears, lend me your ears. (When I'm finished with them I'll leave them in a field on the outskirts of town. I suggest you get there quick before some nosey young man with an urge to play detective finds them, starts snooping and drags disturbing stuff out into the open.)
I have a film pitch for you and it goes straight on the list of 'Films You Never Thought You'd See or Thought You'd Ever Want To See'. It's a mash-up of concepts in the style of old composite monster flicks (Frankenstein Meets The Wolf-Man, Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster, etc.) featuring stunning Alaskan country scenery, terrifying hairdos, jarring ambient sound effects and astounding wildlife. It's »
In their second major deal at Toronto, IFC Films has purchased the theatrical rights to Werner Herzog’s 3D documentary Caves of Forgotten Dreams. The deal is reportedly in the six-figure range and is set to close today. The History Channel had previously picked up television rights to the film. IFC made headlines earlier with the purchase of superhero actioner Super for seven figures. Caves documents the 35,000-year-old paintings at the Chauvet Pont d’Arc Caves in southern France, which are the oldest known example of human artistic expression. Clips of Herzog talking about the caves and the film, plus the full press release, after the jump.
The official press release:
A Film Produced by Creative Differences for History Films in Association with More 4
Toronto, On (September 15, 2010) – IFC Films, the leading American distributor of independent and foreign films, »
- John de Perczel
15 September 2010 1:00 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
More Toronto coverage
Toronto -- IFC Films has acquired all U.S. rights, except for television, to Werner Herzog's 3D documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams," which takes viewers on a tour of the ancient cave drawings in Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in southern France.
The film had its first screening at the Toronto International Film Festival on Monday.
"Cave" was produced by Creative Differences in partnership with History Films, which will eventually air it on the History Channel, and the French Ministry of Culture and Communication as a co-production with Arte France and in association with More 4. It was produced by Erik Nelson, who produced Herzog's last two docs -- "Grizzly Man" and "Encounters at the End of the World" -- and Adrienne Cuiffo, with exec producers Dave Harding, David McKillop, Julian P. Hobbs, Molly Thompson and Tabitha Jackson.
IFC president Jonathan Sehring said, "We were completely blown away by this tour-de-force from Wener Herzog. »
- By Gregg Kilday
Film freaks don't just love Werner Herzog because he makes good films. It's also because he makes lots of very different films, and quickly, too. Looking at only the past several years, one realizes that this filmmaker has delivered movies as wildly disparate as 'Rescue Dawn', 'Grizzly Man', 'Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans', and 'Encounters at the End of the World'. Documentaries on obscure subjects, fact-based war dramas, oddball sequels, and random miscellanea. If the guy has an actual "career plan," I'd love to read it -- but I think the endlessly fascinating Werner Herzog simply snags whatever project seems interesting to him when he has a free month or two. I admire that in a filmmaker.
Herzog's latest (and his second film of the year after 'My Son My Son, What Have Ye Done') is called 'Caves of Forgotten Dreams', »
- Scott Weinberg
In recent years, Werner Herzog's sly observations on the ways the universe in wondrously strange documentaries such as "Grizzly Man" and "Encounters at the End of the World" have taken on cult status apart from his existing place in the history of German cinema. Viral videos contain uncanny imitations of the filmmaker's distinct Bavarian accent reading every children's classic from "Where's Waldo?" to "Curious George." The reality is that Herzog could »
Photo: Todd Wawrychuk / A.M.P.A.S. With last week's release of The Tillman Story and A Film Unfinished, Oscar Doc season is officially in full swing. A perfect time to make some early predictions for the five films that will battle out for this year's Academy Award for best feature documentary.
The Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary has been one of the most difficult competitions to handicap over the years for several reasons. The rules were often confusing and the nomination process was quite unfair prior to 2002. That's when the Academy finally made significant changes based on the large number of complaints from both filmmakers and the public at large. Up until that time decisions were made by a handful of people and »
- Bill Cody
If Stephen Colbert’s constant warnings on the subject of bears weren’t enough, and The Edge or Grizzly Man didn’t make us all aware that sometimes the furry beasts can be dangerous, then maybe Saw V director David Hackl can get the point hammered home with The Red Machine.Working from a script by Jack Reher, Hackl will shoot a movie that sees two estranged brothers on a camping trip find a reason to get over their differences when they come under assault from a bear that has apparently gotten over its fear of humans. Possibly because they keep leaving picnic baskets where it can reach them in Jellystone Park.There’s no studio attached to the film yet, but given that it’s been years since we had a bear-focused thriller (Winnie the Pooh doesn’t count), the time is clearly right for it.Hackl, meanwhile, is »
Discovery has announced Reign of the Dinosaurs at Comic-Con in San Diego. The show, still in production and slated to premiere on Discovery Channel in 2011, features renowned artists and illustrators who are re-setting the benchmark for realistic dinosaur storytelling. Discovery will feature a panel, autograph session, and press interview opportunity at San Diego Comic-Con: Reign Of The Dinosaurs Panel - Friday, 7/23 / 7:30 Pm, Room 6Bcf Featuring: -> Ricardo Delgado (Dark Horse Comics. Age of Reptiles) -> Tom deRosier (Lilo and Stitch, Mulan) -> David Krentz (Disney.s Dinosaur) -> Iain McCaig (Star Wars prequels) -> Mishi McCaig (Iron Man) -> Pete Von Sholly (The Mask, Darkman) Moderated by Producer Erik Nelson (Grizzly Man), the »
- April MacIntyre
Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog ("Rescue Dawn," "Grizzly Man") directs as well as writing "My Son, My Son - What Have Ye Done?" with Herbert Godler. The First Look release finds release on DVD on September 14th. The film stars Academy Award® nominee Michael Shannon, Academy Award® nominee Willem Dafoe, Academy Award® nominee Chloë Sevigny, Brad Dourif and Michael Peña. The film is loosely based on the mysterious true crime story of a young stage actor who, obsessed with a Greek tragedy he's rehearsing, slays his own mother with a sword. Shannon, who will star in HBO’s new Boardwalk Empire this fall, perfectly inhabits the role of Brad Macallam, a man terribly at odds with the world around him. His story emerges in a series of flashbacks »
Robert here, back with another entry in my series on great contemporary directors. For the second time in a month, I'm thinking of a director whose career started back in the 70's (actually earlier, but it took off in the 70's). As always, since our interest here is in the importance of these maestros to modern cinema, I'll try and keep the discussion to the past ten years (or so).
Maestro: Werner Herzog
Known For: Movies about madness, movies with Klaus Kinski, and his own bizarre behavior.
Influences: Murnau, obviously. Also Bunuel, Kurosawa, many of the great old ones.
Disasters: If only I'd seen enough of his movies to answer this accurately, but alas availability issues arise. No big disasters by my watch. »
Directors: Werner Herzog
Review by: projectcyclops
Rating: 8 out of 10
Ah, Werner! My old friend, so good to have you back again so soon! Herzog's latest since his more mainstream (but still very worthy) Bad Lieutenant remake / adaptation, is an extremely strange tale of a young man who holds-up in his suburban home after possibly committing a murder. The film opens with detectives Vargas and Havenhurst (Michael Pena and Willem Defoe) getting the call, arriving at the scene and trying to patch together exactly what Brad McCullum (Michael Shannon) has done, and who his mysterious 'hostages' are. They interview his fiancée, Ingrid (Chloe Sevingny) and the director of the Greek tragedy he was acting in, Meyers (Udo Kier), and through flashbacks and memories we are told the bizarre tale of Brad, and how he came to carry out a brutal act »
Werner Herzog and Nicolas Cage might have been made for each other. Herzog, the wigged-out visionary film-maker domiciled in La, has lost his way in recent years, coasting on the fame of his great collaborations with Klaus Kinski (Aguirre: Wrath of God, Nosferatu, Fitzcarraldo), his muse, his goad and, on and off, his deadliest enemy. Kinski died in 1991, since when the director has been in search of a star who understood his demented flair and love of risk. He briefly found him, too, in the person of Timothy Treadwell, a naturalist whose obsessive quest for togetherness with grizzly bears became the subject of his astonishing 2005 documentary Grizzly Man. Unfortunately, the partnership was brutally sundered when Treadwell made his final exit, pursued and killed by a bear. »
This Lieutenant has a sweet, obliging sexpot girlfriend, enough to remind us that in his career, Herzog has not offered one interesting female character
Werner Herzog is still sometimes presented as a maverick and a wild man, the grizzly bear of the film world. But as he nears 70, resident of Los Angeles, I wonder what it is he thinks he's doing. The evidence most immediately to hand is his reimagining of Bad Lieutenant – New Orleans, and it's bad enough to raise many awkward questions. In 1992 – and to this day – Abel Ferrara's original Bad Lieutenant was hard to stomach, but a work of unquestioned daring and challenge. Harvey Keitel's protagonist was wretched and wracked, depraved yet driven by a warped dream of purity, and the world in which he existed was palpable and enough to make you crave a shower.
But Herzog's version is flimsy and spurious, and Nicolas Cage delivers an eccentric, »
- David Thomson
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