Werner Herzog's Audacious Early Films Showcased In New Boxed Collection

Werner Herzog's Audacious Early Films Showcased In New Boxed Collection

At last year’s film festival I was able to see “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” on the big screen and was as mesmerized by this film as I had been when I saw it, and the performance of Klaus Kinski, the first time.  Well, here we go again, another year, another festival and hopefully more brilliance (Queen of the Desert) from the man who’s named after the venue I will be working at, Werner Herzog.  Here’s an excellent article and podcast by NPR’s John Powers about the man and the tremendous new movie boxed-set, “Herzog: The Collection.”

There are lots of good filmmakers, but only a handful are always, unmistakably themselves. One of these is Werner Herzog, the 71-year-old German director who now lives in L.A. Herzog has done things nobody else would do for a film — like trying to tug a 350-ton steamship over a small mountain. This has made him notorious as a wild, love-him-or-hate-him monomaniac — an image he’s been canny enough to milk.

Herzog rose to fame as part of the New German Cinema, a ’70s boom that also included Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders and Margarethe von Trotta. Starting in 1970 with Even Dwarfs Started Small, an anarchic tale of rebellion by a group of dwarfs, he unleashed a torrent of 10 films — including Nosferatu and Fitzcarraldo — that remain the heart of his achievement.

All those movies, and six later ones, are included in the tremendous new boxed-set, Herzog: The Collection. Some of them are great, others are good, and a couple are truly terrible. Yet every single one has something going on. Herzog has never been limited by anybody else’s idea of propriety, good sense or artistic neatness. He pushes us into unsettling mental spaces that make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.

Click here to Continue Reading www.npr.org

Here’s a nice video intro to the boxed-set:


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