A couple of months ago I read about an initiative over here in the Netherlands called “Filmthuis” (which translates to Moviehome). It’s one I was very enthusiastic about: It offers a selection of movies which currently are playing in the art house theaters, which you can also watch from your own home. So they are released simultaneously in the cinema and on demand. It’s a great first step to a future in which you can hopefully do this for any film, because not everyone has the possibility to head to the cinemas as much as they would like to. After reading about it I admit I hadn’t used it, until I read that the new documentary by Werner Herzog (one of my favorite directors) would be available through this service on the day of its release over here (a couple of weeks ago).
So I set up my screen, started the movie on my laptop and sent it to the screen with AirPlay through my AppleTV. These are all things I don’t think about and really take for granted, but they weren’t possible 40 years ago (or even 10 years ago). Werner Herzog is someone who has a lot to do with technology. He doesn’t have a mobile phone and claims not to know much about the internet. With his curiosity he looks at various aspects of the web during ten chapters. Continue reading
With a camera which he had stolen from his film school Werner Herzog travelled to South America to make his movie Aguirre, the Wrath of God. He got the idea for the film and turned it into a script into the back of the when his football team was travelling to games. It’s a story about a group of Spaniards in search of El Dorado, the place in which there is gold everywhere. To realize that story Herzog worked together with actor Klaus Kinski, who was very difficult to work with (still he would do so as well on other films) in circumstances which tested the whole crew. One of their sets was almost completely destroyed when the river rose considerably during the night. Continue reading
If you look up Klaus Kinski on IMDB you see that he has acted in an impressive 135 movies and TV shows. Yet I have only seen him in one movie, the brilliant Fitzcarraldo. With a constant ferocious look in his eyes I always got the feeling from watching that movie that he was someone who was hard to predict and who had a flicker of madness in his eyes, just like the character he played. Werner Herzog (whose work I almost always enjoy watching) has worked with him on five films and had a special relationship with him. He already knew him from a time when he was a lot younger, living in the same house. With this documentary, made after Klauski’s passing Herzog looks back at the life of this man he had worked with but with whom he had also fought several times, which almost resulted in Herzog firebombing his house at one time. Continue reading
If you would ask me which movie director I though is one of the most interesting I would really only have one answer ready: Werner Herzog. He has made so many interesting movies and is such an interesting person himself that I always enjoy checking out his work. He’s someone who will effortlessly make a documentary, then a feature film but will also appear as an actor. From One Second to the Next is a documentary he has made in cooperation with the biggest phone companies in the US. Its goal is simple: To convince you that texting while driving is something you simply should not do as the consequences can be devastating. Continue reading
Part of my moviewatching is a steady diet of documentaries. It’s a part of moviemaking that doesn’t seem to get as much love as the big movies, even though more documentaries are made than “normal” movies. A lot of people might think that they, like the title says capture reality and you can’t do much with that, but if you’ve seen your fair share of them you know they each have their distinct styles. Some directors make them as “flies on the wall”, just being there and not intervening. Others narrate and put their own opinions into it. This documentary looks at the process of making a documentary and interviews tons of directors and let’s them talk about how they think about them and what a documentary should be. Continue reading
Werner Herzog had a dream to make the movie I reviewed yesterday, Fitzcarraldo. It’s about a man who wants to make his dream of building an opera house in the middle of the jungle a reality. Part of doing so is to pull a ship over a mountain in the Amazon. As Herzog found out, some dreams can slowly turn into nightmares. Les Blank documented it. Continue reading
After reading about this on Tyler‘s site Southern Vision and knowing that this is a movie that is directed by Werner Herzog (one of my favorite directors) I really felt compelled to get my hands on this movie. I immediately bought it when I bumped into it at a store and was ready to make the journey into the Amazon, together with a crazy or brilliant opera lover by the name of Fitzcarraldo (played by Klaus Kinski) Continue reading