About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur ... 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.
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 »
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 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present.Written by
The tap dance by Fred Astaire with his shadow is from the movie "Swing Time". See more »
I think what's extremely important is that we realize that archeology today is not a heroic adventure with spades and picks, but high tech scientific work that's done with incredible detail.
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Perhaps this was intended as a Monty Python flavored mocumentary of some particularly pompous and solemn History Channel product. If it is, Werner has succeeded brilliantly. It's hilariously Dickensian in its portrayals of slightly loony characters and in throwing around jumbled theses in response to the Really Big Questions: Who are we? What is art? What is that awful music in the background? Will mutated white alligators some day make mocumentaries about us? Herzog and his cast of zanies play around with these gas-filled profundities, while we wait impatiently for some clear, well-lighted shots of those quietly beautiful sketches by our ancestors or some more earnestly scientific speculation on means, motives,and methods of the ancient artists. Instead we keep getting Gallic stereotypes like the sniffy matron d'cave guide who scolds the crew, reminding them not to step off the gangplank because their stupid boots will tramp out the 10,000 year-old footprints of a cave bear and then pauses to insist (rather too eagerly)that an indecipherable lump of rock shows a minotaur or something molesting the lower part of a woman's...well, you get the picture: the world's oldest cave porn. Then there is the paleo-reenactor who demonstrates the art of operating an atl-atl spear-sling, apparently attempting to fatally impale a grape arbor. Or do you prefer the archivist who shows us his collection of pendulous paleo-Venus carvings. One in particular he seems exceptionally fond of, not enough to marry perhaps, but at some point one expects he's about to say, "Could you all just please leave my lab now? We want to be alone." Eat you heart out Mel Brooks. Don't even get me started on the nice old guy who informs us he was once the Master of All French Perfumers or some such and who now wanders the wilds so he can sniff his way into promising holes in the ground, where he asks others to join him in smelling the essences of our deodorant-innocent ancestors. At one point he seems to get quite confused, staring into the camera as if to ask, "Am I ready for my close up now, Mr. Herzog?" All this is great for evoking chortles, of course, but there is such beauty in these caves (look at the haunting portrayal of the four expressive, individualized horses, for instance)that one wishes a more down-to-earth (pun intended),less artsy director had made a documentary on the subject.
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