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Entries in Werner Herzog (15)


Doc Corner: Netflix's Big Oscar Push

A flurry of documentaries are having their premieres on Netflix and in their own way serve as glowing examples of the positives and the negatives of the streaming platform. Netflix made an impression very early in their life as original content providers; the Academy’s documentary branch has already warmed to their productions and acquisitions. They deserved the statue for The Square in 2012 (losing to music doc 20 Feet from Stardom), and proved their keen eye (and deep pockets) were no fluke with subsequent nominations for Virunga (losing to Citizenfour), What Happened Miss Simone?, and Winter on Fire (both losing to music doc Amy) 

This year it’s entirely feasible to imagine an Oscar line-up with five Netflix titles. I can't imagine the doc branch ever letting that happen, but they have the product and it’s looking entirely possible they could finally win in a memorable and game-changing first. But what about the films themselves: Into the Inferno, Amanda Knox, and Audrie & Daisie?

Click to read more ...


Frank Ocean Prefers Wong Kar-wai's Early Stuff

For anyone still wondering what took Frank Ocean so long to release his follow-up to Channel Orange, a new theory lies within the pages of the R&B angel’s recently released "Boys Don't Cry" zine to accompany his new album Blonde: perhaps he was blowing through his conscientious Blu-ray collection. Demonstrating an eye for the visionary and the visually dazzling – and inadvertently challenging the hot buzz on that BBC critics’ poll and last week’s #7favfilms on Twitter – Ocean scribbled down a list of his 100 favorite films of all time, and his choices make it clear that he’s as much a student of the cinema as he is a singer of stirring emotionality.

A few standout selections. He’s clearly got love for the go-for-broke auteurism of Herzog and Jodorowsky, reflected in his own sonic adventurism, but he flexes his sensitive side and interest in rehashing the past with a Bergman classic like Wild Strawberries. As a David Lynch devotee, his inclusion of the polarizing and patriotically perverse (and, for my money, perfect) Wild at Heart makes me want to paint the town as red as Diane Ladd’s face. A small smattering of silent films make the list but the absences are just as compelling. PTA makes three appearances on the list but Ocean opts for Hard Eight over the far more beloved Boogie Nights. And despite its undeniable genius, it’s a relief to see a Best Of list with a Hitchcock mention that isn’t Vertigo. Mostly, though, I'll take the obvious crossover omission of Boys Don't Cry in favor of including American Beauty as a sly hint that he, too, is a fervent member of Team Bening.


Doc Corner: Werner Herzog's 'Lo and Behold'

Glenn here. Each Tuesday bringing you reviews of documentaries from theatres, festivals and on demand.

The indefatigable German director Werner Herzog is an unlikely superstar of the modern age – a man responsible for some of the most singular cinematic visions of our time who has remodelled himself over the last two decades primarily as a documentarian. A filmmaker with a unique verbosity who can devour a metaphor and roll it across his tongue like he was twisting a cherry stem. His accent frequently inciting giggles when paired with subject matter that many feel is outside of the wheelhouse of a 73-year-old man like albino crocodiles, Kanye West, Pokemon, or as in the case of his latest film, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, the internet at large.

I confess that sometimes I struggle with Herzog’s need to narrate all of his documentaries himself. No doubt spurred on by producers and financiers who see the inherent value if having Herzog, a walking meme among content producers. I was not a fan of Cave of Forgotten Dreams, for instance, for many of the same reasons people adored it. His often long-winded and meandering habits don’t always connect with me as a viewer the way they no doubt do for so many others. And while I was thankful to see Herzog return to the world of non-fiction after the flat and dusty Queen of the Desert (still unreleased in America, unsurprisingly), his latest felt like it was more the product of an over-excited team rather than something organically Herzog. [more...]

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For Your Tweets Only: Wonderstruck, Herzog, and the Next 007 

As you may have heard rumors are swirling again (do they ever stop?) that Daniel Craig absolutely will not, won't, refused to, no matter how much you pay him, play Agent 007 again. The most frequently suggested future Bonds are Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston but there are so many worthy ideas.

Who would you suggest?

Lots more tweet fun after the jump (Clue, Ben Foster, Werner Herzog, etcetera) but first check out another intriguing photo of Julianne Moore in Wonderstruck. First we had her in Marie Antoinette mode and now this? Bless you Todd Haynes!

Click to read more ...


Curio: Too Cool For School Supplies

Alexa here. This year was the first year I had to get school supplies for my daughter and it was pretty depressing. She isn't allowed any choice, even in the color of her folders! As a form of rebellion by proxy, I've been searching for the coolest supplies out there to keep things weird at home.  Some for my daughter and, of course, why not choose a few for myself, too?  Here is a selection of film-themed supplies that could help my cause.

After the jump: Werner, Duckie, Cher, and more...


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Queen of the Desert Pic and Nicole in the Oscar Race?

Queen of the Desert, Werner Herzog's biopic on Gertrud Bell starring Nicole Kidman wrapped filming in March. Though it's still looking for a distributor it looks like post-production is all done since producers are tweeting about the final cut and calling it "EPIC". Herzog has also expressed real enthusiasm about Nicole's performance in his slightly oddball way of speaking.

"Now, Nicole Kidman,” Herzog said of her lead performance in "Queen Of The Desert." “Wait for that one. Wait for it. I make an ominous prediction: How good she is.”

(You can even hear his voice when you read quotes from him, can't you?)

Nicole shared this photo of the wrap of shooting.first official image. will they keep this aspect ratio? it's so Lawrence of Arabia long

Of course all of this is from people who are involved in the picture so they'd never be anything less than enthusiastic. But I myself have high hopes and I'm not involved. Unless you count my heart which belongs to Nicole.

Though I'd love for Werner Herzog to have a major Oscar success -- imagine how fun he would be on the campaign trail all season? -- the truth is Oscar has resisted him over and over again. Despite a prolific acclaimed filmography his only Oscar success is Encounters at the End of the World (Documentary Nomination, 2007). Nope, they didn't even go for the classic going insane in the jungle epic Aguire, The Wrath of God (1972) or the classic going insane building opera houses movie Fitzcarraldo (1982) or the classic already insane and hanging out with bears in the wilderness doc Grizzly Man (2005) all of which attracted awards heat elsewhere... just not with AMPAS. (Does Nicole Kidman go insane in the desert? I'm sensing a theme here.)

This sudden burst of news about the picture and our love of Nicole Kidman has us hoping she can climb the Oscar charts. But given that last year's Best Actress Shorlist had the most communal previous nominations of all time  I'm sensing this is the kind of year where Oscar is going to want some fresh blood.



Besties Bounce Bell Bio-Pic

JA from MNPP here - I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but don't you just love forever besties Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts? I saw them once walking into the movie theater in Union Square in New York and I spent weeks contemplating what they were going to see. I mean, I can't be the only one who spends an unhealthy amount of time imagining them laying on a sofa, both in sweatpants, Naomi's head in Nicole's lap, a comically enormous bowl of popcorn on Naomi's belly, as they nosh and watch some difficult and demanding foreign film and see who can call dibs on the director first, right? That's totally how it rolls.


Anyway, picture that. Only this time Naomi rolls over, spilling some kernels on the floor, super sad. "Aww, what's wrong, puss-puss?" Nicole Asks. Nicole calls Naomi "puss-puss" in this scenario. Just go with it. And yes, Nicole is nervous that Naomi's going to bring up the reviews for Adore, or even worse the Princess Di bio-pic - Nicole has her own bio-pic worries, what with that guy who was supposed to be cutting the trailer for Grace of Monaco having fallen off the face of the Earth and all. But Naomi doesn't have any of that on her mind, thankfully. "I don't think I can make the Herzog movie," she cries. Ahh, Nicole thinks. The Gertrude Bell bio-pic! That's a juicy one! Nicole's laser quick control of her facial features kicks in - do not let on your glee, she thinks! "Oh no, puss-puss. That's terrible. We both love Herzog so much." She emphasizes "both," but not too dramatically.


And so it goes. As Naomi goes and dries her tears in the bathroom, Nicole reaches into the drawer of the side table stealthily, pulling out her long-ago scribbled list of names - Auteurs I Will Work With One Day, it says in large block letters. She draws a firm red line through Werner Herzog with a smile. She'll wait to call her agent tomorrow; now's the time to bust out the box of wine from the fridge and soften Naomi up for the transition.


In the bathroom, Naomi flushes the toilet and speaks quietly into her cell-phone. "Hey Werner. It's puss-puss. We got her. No worries."