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Contemporary Documentarists

vikiwalden | Wednesday May 13, 2009

Categories: Other Topics, Documentaries, Documentarists

Werner Herzog

Grizzly Man (2005)

A devastating and heartrending take on grizzly bear activists Timothy Treadwell and Amie Huguenard, who were killed in October of 2003 while living among grizzlies in Alaska.

Gro├če Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner, Die (1974)

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner is a study of the psychology of a champion ski-jumper, whose full-time occupation is carpentry.

Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999)

In the 1950s, when Werner Herzog was 13, he was sharing an apartment with Klaus Kinski, an ego-maniacal live-wire. In an unabated, 48 hour fit of rage, Kinski destroyed every piece of furniture in sight. From this chaos, a beautiful albeit volatile partnership was born. In 1972, Herzog cast Kinski in Aguirre, The Wrath of God. Four more films would follow. In this personal documentary, Herzog traces the often violent up and downs of their relationship, revisiting Munich apartment where they first met - and thrashed, and the various locations of their films.


An eccentric filmmaker of both fiction and documentary films, his films are often coined to be “fictionalized documentary”.

Herzog likes to follow people who are following their dreams, but never get them. In Grizzly Man, the two activists who are trying to stop humans harming bears are killed by the very bears they try to save. In Woodcarver Steiner, Steiner should be happy he is a champion, but he has realised the shallowness of his fans - he could die out there, but if he doesn’t beat the record who cares? My Best Fiend shows Herzog’s own eccentric story of working with the worse actor to ever live and to work with him over and over again!

Herzog often used romantic music and wide shots focusing a lot of the reality of the environment that surrounds his subjects and the beauty of it. Goddard once stated;

“No image is beautiful in itself… but because it is the splendour of the real.”

Herzog’s films are very cold and truthful portrays...

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