About the daring adventure of exploring rainforest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur Falls... See full summary »
An alien narrates the story of his dying planet, his and his people's visits to Earth and Earth's man-made demise, while human astronauts attempt to find an alternate planet for surviving humans to live on.
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as an American naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Vietcong, recreating many events for the camera.
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames. In contrast to the common documentary film there are no comments and few interviews. What must have been the hell itself ... See full summary »
'Werner Herzog' takes his camera to Antarctica where we meet the odd men and women who have dedicated their lives to furthering the cause of science in treacherous conditions. A scientist studies neutrinos, which are everywhere, yet elusive; he likens them to spirits. A researcher's nighttime performance art includes contorting her body into a luggage bag. A survival guide teaches his students to survive white-out conditions by wearing cartoon-face buckets over their heads. Animal researchers milk mother seals as part of their study. Volcanologists offer advice on what to do when a volcano erupts. A pipefitter shows us the anomaly in his hands that he says are a sign he descended from Atzec royalty. A former Colorado banker drives what he has christened Ivan the Terra Bus. An underwater diver shows his colleagues DVDs of apocalyptic sci-fi films like Them! (1954). And -- though Herzog declares he's not "making another film about penguins" -- we meet a penguin researcher who answers ... Written by
Werner Herzog has disclosed that the scene of scientists putting their ears to the ice to listen to seal calls was entirely staged. Herzog asked them to position themselves according to his directions, and the sounds were previously recorded through underwater microphones by sound artist Douglas Quin. See more »
As if we had wanted to leave one remnant of our presence on this planet, they would find a frozen sturgeon mysteriously hidden away beneath the mathematically precise true south pole. They stash it back away into its frozen shrine for another eternity.
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There is no denying the man. He has already changed me, and others.
Interestingly, it seems that this is less by design than by accidents that occur because he chooses to put his camera in places where the cosmos is unstable. Sometimes it rewards deeply, because we find our own window into beautiful chaos. Sometimes the experiments fail, and you can see how he has tried to distract us with observations from himself rather than the world he has placed us in.
This is such a failure. He goes, enticed by the promise of cruel, unfathomable beauty. He finds no accident with inherent narrative, so he inserts his own. Unfortunately, Herzog the man and mind is the least interesting element of any Herzog film. I know I am in the minority here, because he has a celebrity persona.
But watch this, and see how he interviews his subjects. He is trying to cast them as beautiful souls doomed be a part of the ugliness of humanity. Some of the interviews are staged or rehearsed. He admits this. I know the words are genuinely from the people who speak them, but the narrative is false. Herzog has this notion this essentially Austrian notion that nature is only full when it is cruel, stark and dangerous. Humanity is unnatural; only a few butterfly souls escape, and they are to be cherished.
So look here: we have his usual Wagnerian chorus, using internationally fused sounds. We have some nature, always presented as cosmically unfriendly. We have episodes that underscore the hopeless weakness of society. And we have characters that engage and inspire. But it all seems so desperately constructed here. Whether he likes it or not, he has simply made a penguin film, but with humans.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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