Werner Herzog is renowned for pushing the boundaries of conventional cinema, especially those between the fictional and the factual, the fantastic and the real. The Cinema of Werner Herzog: Aesthetic Ecstasy and Truth is the first study in twenty years devoted entirely to an analysis of Herzog's work. It explores the director's continuing search for what he has described as 'ecstatic truth,' drawing on over thirty-five films, from the epics Aguirre: Wrath of God (1972) and Fitzcarraldo (1982) to innovative documentaries like Fata Morgana (1971), Lessons of Darkness (1992), and Grizzly Man (2005). Special attention is paid to Herzog's signature style of cinematic composition, his "romantic" influences, and his fascination with madmen, colonialism, and war.
About the Author
Brad Prager is assistant professor of film studies and German studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and the author of Writing Images: Aesthetic Vision and German Romanticism.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Framing Werner Herzog 1
Madness on a Grand Scale 20
Madness on a Minor Scale 49
Mountains and Fog 82
War and Trauma 142
An Image of Africa 171
Conclusion: Cinematic Poesis 198
Sources and Bibliography 205