The Individual in Werner Herzog's Films Aguirre, the Wrath of God and STROSZEK
GRIN Verlag, 2008 - 32 pages
Seminar paper from the year 2001 in the subject Film Science, grade: A (1,3), University of Glasgow (Department of Film- and TV-Studies), 11 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: "The epithets used to describe the films of Werner Herzog invariably emphasise the critics' feeling that they have been impressed by something that goes beyond rational analysis"1 This statement by John Sandford seems to sum up the fascinating consequence of the mysterious enigma of Werner Herzog's films: an irrational aesthetic method, an irrational performance and an irrational effect. Typical terms used in the past to describe Herzog's work were: "obsessive, fanatic, titanic, apocalyptic, holy, demonic," but also, more neutrally, terms like "fantastic, irrational, mysterious."2 Indeed, when watching his films, they can create a very strange atmosphere. The viewer is often confronted with human megalomania or total human failure which stands in contrast to a mighty, unconquerable nature. Herzog plays with the presentation of these concepts. They are linked, varied, mixed and often set in a somewhat mystical context. At times this mixture of opposing elements are that grotesque that the viewer does not really know whether to laugh or to cry. There is a steady presence of an uncomfortable kind of humour in Herzog's work. Some of Herzog's films seem more like a psychedelic experience, than a typical, classically told story, which follows narrative laws like exposition, plot or climax. In these films the emotions seem to be more important than their narrative origin and therefore the story becomes less important than what it carries. This is the Herzog-typical irrational element, which leaves the viewer impressed, but leaves him/her with more questions than answers. 1 Sandford, John: The New German Cinema. (London: 1980); p. 48 2 ibid.; p. 48
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actor aesthetic method Aguirre de Lope Aguirre’s allegory American Anton anymore backyards becomes Berlin Böhm The Individual chair lift changes throughout Character Bruno critical distance declaration Dorado dream drop dead Ebert eccentric El Dorado entrapment essay euphoric eventually fanatic Fitzcarraldo Faust frozen turkey German Cinema go into freedom going round GRIN Verlag Guido Böhm Helmut Editors Herzog put Herzog wanted Herzog's Films Aguirre Herzogian circle http://www.werner-herzog-film.de human identity idiosyncratic Individual in Werner insane irrational element jungle Kaes Kaiser Klaus Kinski knows last scene madness Main Character megalomania mobile home München narrative never obsessed passivity personal identification personal identity Prinzler Promised Land protagonists raft River Journey Film round in circles Sandford Scheitz senseless shooting situation Sorfa STROSZEK symbol throughout the film Throughout the story typical Herzogian ultimate unstoppable Ursúa viewer to identify watching his films Werner Herzog Werner Herzog’s Films win untold riches Wrath Wrath of God