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Entries in Werner Herzog (18)

Tuesday
Sep052017

Happy Birthday Herzog

by Jason Adams

Film director Werner Herzog is marking three quarters of a century on this planet today - a planet that he has probably explored the weirdness hidden away at every single obscure corner of. We should cherish him while we have him, people - even if some of his more recent efforts have been iffier than most. Go see every damn one, reviews be damned.

Funnily enough last night I was reading a review of the Twin Peaks finale (no spoilers here, don't worry!) that called that series mastermind David Lynch "American pop culture's answer to Werner Herzog," and I got to thinking about these two directors in relation to each other. Besides Herzog and Lynch easily making my list of Top Five Greatest Living Film-makers I don't usually think about them in relation to each other, but it's not an invalid point.

So here, for Werner's birthday, let's latch him onto the zeitgeist's momentarily hottest art-house auteur, and list three similarities, with one glaring dissimilarity...

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Wednesday
Nov232016

'If Ever I Would Leave You,' List-Making... It wouldn't be in November

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1859 Billy the Kid, future legendary outlaw, is born. He's been played in movies and TV by actors like Buster Crabbe, Hugh O'Brian, Paul Newman, Clu Galager, Val Kilmer, and perhaps most famously by Kris Kristofferson, BAFTA nominated for Pat Garret and Billy the Kid (1973)
1887 Boris Karloff, villainous movie icon (Frankenstein, The Mask of Fu Manchu, Scarface, etcetera) is born
1888 Harpo Marx is born

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Friday
Nov042016

Tweetweek: ABBA in a White Room, Carrie Gifs, 1999 Supporting Actress

In today's tweetweek, the 1999 supporting actress race, mindy project A+ joke, ABBA, Lindsay Lohan's new accent, and the last few days of political anxiety (in this phase at least). It's all after the jump...

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Tuesday
Oct042016

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?

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Thursday
Aug252016

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.

Tuesday
Aug162016

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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