Monday, August 06, 2007

Werner Herzog - Aguirre, The Wrath of God [Great Directors]

Werner Herzog is truly an instinctive filmmaker. Many of the most compelling images in his films seem to come from a totally illogical place. And yet on some level they make more sense in their context than rational images would. I can't explain why the jellyfish in "Little Dieter Learns to Fly", or the chicken on the hot plate in "Stroszek" are such profound images, and yet I'll never forget them.

A perfect example of this is the terrifying image of a raft overrun with monkeys in "Aguirre, the Wrath of God". I can't imagine sitting down and coming up with this scene. It seems totally bizarre and ridiculous. But whenever I get to this scene in the movie, it always gives me the creeps. It is both completely insane and completely logical. Just like the typical Herzog character.

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