By Eric Ames
Over the process his profession Werner Herzog, recognized for such visionary masterpieces as Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972) and The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), has directed virtually sixty movies, approximately half that are documentaries. And but, in a press release brought in the course of a public visual appeal in 1999, the filmmaker declared: “There are deeper strata of fact in cinema, and there's any such factor as poetic, ecstatic fact. it's mysterious and elusive, and will be reached basically via fabrication and mind's eye and stylization.” Ferocious truth is the 1st e-book to invite how this conviction, so opposed to the conventional tenets of documentary, can tell the paintings of 1 of the world’s such a lot provocative documentarians.
Herzog, whose Cave of Forgotten desires used to be possibly the main celebrated documentary of 2010, could be the so much influential filmmaker lacking from significant reports and histories of documentary. reading such impressive motion pictures as classes of Darkness (1992) and Grizzly guy (2005), Eric Ames indicates how Herzog dismisses documentary as a style of filmmaking so one can creatively interfere and perform it. In shut, contextualized research of greater than twenty-five movies spanning Herzog’s profession, Ames makes a case for exploring documentary movies when it comes to functionality and explains what it capability to take action. hence his ebook expands the sector of cinema reports at the same time it bargains a useful new viewpoint on a bit studied yet crucial a part of Werner Herzog’s impressive oeuvre.
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Additional info for Ferocious Reality: Documentary According to Werner Herzog (Visible Evidence, Volume 27)
Even if Herzog can be entrusted with the Church’s message is one other query completely. bearing on ARD, he recollects, “the community requested me to give a contribution to a sequence approximately 2,000 years of Christianity. I instructed them i needed to cope with the church in Latin the US, yet that they need to no longer count on something encyclopedic simply because I knew i needed to visit a truly particular position. the most sequences are shot . . . at a shrine to the Mayan god Maximón in San Andrés Itzapa in Guatemala. ”88 Herzog’s contribution to the tv sequence explores the consequences of cultural move in a particular state of affairs and indicates their old implications for spiritual existence in Latin the US extra regularly. 134 BAROQUE VISIONS not like Herzog’s different documentaries, this one makes an particular argument. With the Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerican humans, Herzog states at the voice-over, “the Catholic religion was once pressured on . . . a complete state. ”89 Christianity was once a “burden” to be (literally and figuratively) shouldered via colonized humans, and it continues to be so that you can this day—an notion made shiny via the episode’s commencing scene. it really is Holy Week in Antigua, the traditional capital of Guatemala. We see photographs of the city’s well-known Easter procession, observed by means of nondiegetic track from Gounod’s Sanctus. The modifying creates a visible analogy among the costumed worshipers, who hold the determine of Christ bearing the move, and the porters and owners, who shoulder huge, immense a great deal of items. because the movie indicates, even though, the Conquest resulted not just in annoying loss and oppression but additionally in artistic acts of appropriation and transformation, which often times, satirically, enabled the survival of an analogous indigenous myths and rituals that the church had sought to exchange. From the beginning, then, the episode unfolds in clash with the sequence of which it's a half. For all of the rhetoric of coercion, Herzog foregrounds the ongoing visibility of “pagan” ideals. The stakes of this movie are therefore made simple: they're the patience of local id and reminiscence within the face of overwhelming eu energy and the ensuing emergence of recent syncretic kinds of non secular perform and cultural expression. If this short description sounds a piece too prosaic or “politically right” for a Herzog movie, there's certainly extra to it. for example, there are shortly 3 detailed models of this movie in movement (all produced in 1999 yet published in quite a few years), and every has a distinct identify. now not strangely, the differences have created a few confusion, so a number of phrases of rationalization might be worthwhile. First, there's New Worlds: God and the harassed (Neue Welten: Gott und die Beladenen), which aired on German tv in 2000 as half nine of the aforementioned mini-series yet was once now not published on DVD until eventually 2007. this can be the one model during which the voice-over is spoken through Herzog himself. It’s additionally the one who such a lot pursuits me. ninety What i'm calling the “second” model bears the shorter English-language identify God and the harassed.