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 »
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 »
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 »
The documentary follows Gene Scott, famous televangelist involved with constant fights against FCC, who tried to shut down his TV show during the 1970's and 1980's, and even argues with his... See full summary »
Successful films on metaphysical subjects are rare, but Fata Morgana is a good case. You can chalk up the large subject to the ambitions of youth, but Herzog does an amazingly good job. The movie's point is to show human beings, and even the world, from a non-human point of view.
The movie is in three parts: Creation, Paradise, and The Golden Age. The imagery of each is in counterpoint to the voice-over. Although the text of `The Creation' (from the Popol Vuh, a Mayan myth) refers to the primordial wasteland, the scene goes no further in illustrating the myth. It dwells on the waste, and on various specimens of destruction (fire, smoke, wrecked vehicles). The images from `Paradise' are anything but that, and `The Golden Age' is darkly comic the highest culture is the strange roadside musical act.
The Popol Vuh suggests that mankind is the central object of creation, but the movie does everything it can to undo this notion. Its mythological framework has no referent in human historical time. There are no human characters to speak of. When a boy stands with a dog in an extended shot, the initial suggestion is of the boy's point of view; by the end it is much more the dog's. Likewise the lizard is a stronger character than the human who introduces it, and the turtle's partner barely looks human with his big flippers.
Animal stories and nature documentaries always anthropomorphize, but Fata Morgana has none of that. Certainly the dunes look like a female body, but the simile cuts both ways. Presumably only humans can distinguish easily between their creation and nature, and here airplanes and factories are presented alongside mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. People and civilization are all part of a broader natural landscape.
In 1979 Herzog put a new twist on the idea when he remade Nosferatu from the vampire's point of view.
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