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Werner Herzog (1942 - )


Werner Herzog (born September 5, 1942) is a German screenwriter, film director and actor.

Many of his films are, however, in the English language. He directed five films starring German actor Klaus Kinski. In 1999 he directed and narrated the documentary film My Best Fiend, a retrospective on his often-rocky relationship with Kinski. He is noted for his filmic interest in indigenous peoples and considered one of the best post-war directors. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Herzog [Oct 2004]


  1. Kinski: My Best Fiend (1999) - Werner Herzog [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Most people associate the director Werner Herzog with the actor Klaus Kinski--but few know how twisted and enmeshed their relationship was. Though Kinski has made dozens of movies, he probably remains best known for the five he made with Herzog: Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Woyzeck, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Cobra Verde, and Fitzcarraldo. In this documentary/cinematic memoir, Herzog uses clips from these remarkable films, on-the-set footage, and personal recollections to create a portrait of Kinski as both a deeply passionate actor and a raving lunatic; it's hard to say whether he's defaming Kinski or being generous to this mercurial, erratic actor. There's no question that their relationship is fascinating; after their first movie (Aguirre, probably the best of their collaborations) they both described moments of wanting to kill each other--in fact, both agree that Herzog threatened to shoot Kinski at one point, though they differ on the details. Yet they went on to make four more movies, almost all of them under circumstances that would be difficult for the most serene personalities. My Best Fiend was inspired by Kinski's death, and probably the movie's weakest aspect is that we don't get Kinski's side of their friendship. But even though it's one-sided, it's still a remarkable portrait of two artists who were willing to go to extremes to capture their visions. Any fan of either will find this unique documentary indispensable. --Bret Fetzer, amazon.com

  2. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1973) - Werner Herzog [Amazon.com]
    Quite simply a great movie, one whose implacable portrait of ruthless greed and insane ambition becomes more pertinent every year. The astonishing Klaus Kinski plays Don Lope de Aguirre, a brutal conquistador who leads his soldiers into the Amazon jungle in an obsessive quest for gold. The story is of the expedition's relentless degeneration into brutality and despair, but the movie is much more than its plot. Director Werner Herzog strove, whenever possible, to replicate the historical circumstances of the conquistadors, and the sheer human effort of traveling through the dense mountains and valleys of Brazil in armor creates a palpable sense of struggle and derangement. This sense of reality, combined with Kinski's intensely furious performance, makes Aguirre, the Wrath of God a riveting film. Its unique emotional power is matched only by other Herzog-Kinski collaborations like Fitzcarraldo and Woyzek. --Bret Fetzer for Amazon.com

  3. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979) - Werner Herzog [Amazon.com]
    Werner Herzog's remake of F.W. Murnau's original vampire classic is at once a generous tribute to the great German director and a distinctly unique vision by one of cinema's most idiosyncratic filmmakers. Though Murnau's Nosferatu was actually an unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, Herzog based his film largely on Murnau's conceptions--at times directly quoting Murnau's images--but manages to slip in a few references to Tod Browning's famous version (at one point the vampire comments on the howling wolves: "Listen, the children of the night make their music."). Longtime Herzog star Klaus Kinski is both hideous and melancholy as Nosferatu (renamed Count Dracula in the English language version). As in Murnau's film, he's a veritable gargoyle with his bald pate and sunken eyes, and his talon-like fingernails and two snaggly fangs give him a distinctly feral quality. But Kinski's haunting eyes also communicate a gloomy loneliness--the curse of his undead immortality--and his yearning for Lucy (Isabelle Adjani) becomes a melancholy desire for love. Bruno Ganz's sincere but foolish Jonathan is doomed to the vampire's will and his wife, Lucy, a holy innocent whose deathly pallor and nocturnal visions link her with the ghoulish Nosferatu, becomes the only hope against the monster's plague-like curse. Herzog's dreamy, delicate images and languid pacing create a stunningly beautiful film of otherworldly mood, a faithful reinterpretation that by the conclusion has been shaped into a quintessentially Herzog vision. --Sean Axmaker for Amazon.com [features Roland Topor]

Land of Silence and Darkness (1971) - Werner Herzog

Land of Silence and Darkness (1971) - Werner Herzog [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Product Description:
"In this astonishing documentary about the world of the deaf-blind, acclaimed director Werner Herzog (Signs of Life, Aguirre: The Wrath of God) explores the life of Fini Straubinger, a remarkable and kind-hearted 56-year-old deaf and blind woman who has dedicated her life to helping the similarly afflicted. --via Amazon.com

Deafblindness is the condition of having little or no useful sight and hearing. As with the word "Deaf", it can be capitalized to indicate that it is a culture; some prefer the spelling "DeafBlind". Deafblind people have an experience quite distinct from people who are only deaf or blind and not both. The most well known Deafblind person is the author, activist and lecturer Helen Keller. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deafblindness [Jan 2006]

See also: blind - film - senses - 1971 - Werner Herzog

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