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The Wild Blue Yonder (2005)

Not Rated | | Sci-Fi | 15 June 2007 (UK)
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.

Director:

Werner Herzog

Writer:

Werner Herzog

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview:
Brad Dourif ... The Alien
Donald Williams Donald Williams ... Astronaut Commander (as Capt. Donald Williams)
Ellen Baker Ellen Baker ... Astronaut physician (as Dr. Ellen Baker)
Franklin Chang-Diaz Franklin Chang-Diaz ... Astronaut Plasma Physicist
Shannon Lucid Shannon Lucid ... Astronaut biochemist
Michael McCulley Michael McCulley ... Astronaut pilot
Roger Diehl Roger Diehl ... Mathematician
Ted Sweetser Ted Sweetser ... Mathematician
Martin Lo Martin Lo ... Mathematician
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Germany | France | Austria | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 June 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Wake for Galileo See more »

Filming Locations:

Antarctica See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Multiple formats were used throughout the film. Footage shot in space was on standard 16mm, the underwater nature footage was on a consumer grade SD digital camera and interview footage with the scientists as well as the scenes with the Alien were on digital HD. The final edit was composed into an unspecified digital format and transferred to 35mm. See more »

Quotes

The Alien: You know, our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfathers were fine scientists, but the journey was long and boring and when we got here, hundreds of hundreds and hundreds and hundreda and hundreds of years later, those of us who arrived here just... sucked.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Futurama: Into the Wild Green Yonder (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Less Powerful Moments in Herzog's Dialog with Humanity
2 November 2008 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Everything in The Wild Blue Yonder is intentional.

The use of stock footage from NASA in place of special effects and the inescapable tedium of this footage; the implausible concepts from physics which are neither explained nor clearly connected to the vaguely coherent "plot"; the fact that alien space traveler Brad Dourif and his alleged (but never seen) extraterrestrial colleagues do not appear to be in any way different from somewhat neurotic Americans with bad business sense; The stark beauty of the underwater scenes and the immediate disruption of this beauty by the arrival of humanity; the accuracy of the alien narrators comments regarding the impossibility of intergalactic travel and the continuity problems which stem from this jarring set of facts.

I am not sure Herzog planned all of this, but I do believe that once he has identified the film he is making, he's pretty meticulous and consistent about putting it together.

This film has two texts:

1 the plot - which is a bit of silliness about aliens coming to earth because their planet is undergoing environmental catastrophes and earthlings going to their planet for the same reason. This story is so absurd that it is difficult to understand why some reviewers seem to believe it is really most of what is going on in the film.

2. the joke - which is the meta-text, and a contribution to Herzog's seemingly endless commentary on human nature and human affairs, though definitely one of his less clear and forceful critiques. The film parodies the Star Trek concept of space travel and the future as a panacea for human problems, and does so on many levels: including patent ridiculousness of the plot; the tedious stock footage which is so painfully unrelated to the narrative; the alien who looks so much like us it is unnerving and who admits, halfway through the film, that he and his fellow aliens "suck".

What Herzog ends up with here is possibly the lowest budget space movie ever shot. Assuming he got his usual fee, Brad Dourif probably challenged the post-production budget for the most costly element of this film. What the more receptive members of his audience get is a film that is strangely difficult to forget, despite the fact that its plot is utterly forgettable.

As a space adventure, Blue Yonder fails utterly and miserably - and that is part of Herzog's point! As a smart sci-fi film - not as challenging or stilted as Tarkovsky's work, but in some ways, as profound - it succeeds, but does not really excel.

Recommended for fans of philosophical sci fi and fans of Herzog. Not recommended for anybody else.


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