Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Fourth Week, Feb '07

Hi you all,

This is the last week, the fourth of four sets each dedicated to a director. Werner Herzog brings up the rear in a steady onslaught. We think you shall enjoy these two films. To be honest, attendance has been distressingly low this past week, which may be due in part to factors of which we are not unaware. Still, remember that the Film Club is a valuable institution. It is something we will perhaps only fully appreciate when we leave NID, so make the most of it – and please show your support.

27th February 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 36 minutes
Directed by Werner Herzog

A film to make you think; this, one of Herzog’s earlier pieces, shows clearly his taste for the incredible, literally even. A hint of the bizarre, at times to the point of repulsiveness, is all-pervading, side-by-side with the stark, breathing, moist and warm humanity which even the black and white stock cannot obscure. A film to make you think: it may also throw you for a loop. Very insular is the world the dwarves inhabit. The story, which shows the progression of their rebellion against authority, is essentially one of implosion, of a society that does not transform but instead, crashes. An abbreviated Reign of Terror ensues as a matter of course. May this sort of thing never happen to us.

1st March 2007
6:15 p.m. at the Auditorium

Runtime: 1 hour 40 minutes
Directed by Werner Herzog

Arguably Herzog’s most famous film - deservedly so - it has been screened a number of times here. It centres on the largely fictionalized exploits of a Spanish conquistador on a wild-goose chase for the mythical El-Dorado. Kurosawa had his Mifune. Likewise, Herzog had to deal with the gifted and nearly uncontrollable Klaus Kinski. The relationship was little short of magic. The title character strides, rages across the screen, fully living up to his moniker. In the midst of an overgrown jungle mad dreams play out in extravagant fashion, their death spasms swallowed up by vines and leaves. Watching this, one can scarcely believe it was made in the early 70s. It has the feel of a documentary – Herzog even calls it his best such.

About the director: Werner Herzog (b. 1942) hails from Germany. Internationally renowned, his extensive oeuvre includes THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (1974) and FITZCARRALDO (1982). His movies with the aforementioned actor Klaus Kinski are a category in their own right, so catch some when you can. Herzog would appear to see the natural world as malicious, barbaric, to be held at bay by reason. Do you disagree? Go right ahead, but watch first.

With regards,
The Film Club.

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