My Best Fiend – Klaus Kinski (1999)

Review of the documentary about Klaus Kinski by Werner Herzog

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

From One Second to the Next (2013)

Review of the documentary about texting while driving

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

Capturing Reality (2008)

Art of documentary

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

Burden of Dreams (1982)

Burden of Dreams review

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

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

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

Into the Abyss (2011)

When it comes to documentary filmmakers there are a couple of them that stand out to me either because of their personalities or their documentaries. Those are Morgan Sperlock, Michael Moore, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. Especially Herzog stands out to me since the subject of his documentaries varies so much, whether it is a guy that was eaten by bears, wall paintings in a cave or in this documentary a murder case. He always adds his own trademark way of telling the story and asking questions others would not. An example here is at the beginning when he interviews a priest who is present at executions who tells him how he sometimes enjoys getting away from it all and go out golfing. He tells how he enjoys seeing the grass, the birds and squirrels. Herzog asks him if he could tell a story about the squirrels (you’d probably agree it’s a bit of an odd question) and the priest tells about them and breaks down. It’s exactly that which I like so much about Herzog. Continue reading

The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans (2009)

Nicholas Cage, who has made some pretty bad movie choices (and personal ones) the last couple of years now stars in the Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans.
His character is a police detective who don’t know the limits anymore as he is under the influence of drugs. Because of this there is more going on than just solving a multiple homicide. Under the influence of drugs he makes deals with criminals, abuses his power to get things done or just to get things he needs. Continue reading