WHOLE LOTTA HERZOG
(JUNE 7 – AUGUST 4)

A leader of the New German Cinema movement alongside R.W. Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff. A master documentarian (and he himself the subject of multiple docs). A narrator with that voice, lending his impeccable, one-of-a-kind delivery to a selection of his own works and beyond. A sometime actor, most notably in a pair of films by Harmony Korine. There is perhaps no more monumental a figure in cinema alive today than Werner Herzog. Perfectly described by Janet Maslin of The New York Times as the “consummate poet of doom,” the Munich-born director/producer/writer of over 60 fictional and doc features made his first short work at age 19 and is still fearlessly forging ahead at 78, with a drive as intense as many of the characters he has captured on screen. 

We are pleased to present an assortment of some of his most celebrated work—16 films often portraying unusual obsessions, encompassing both fact and fiction, and sometimes the precarious space in between, including the two titles he made with his precious discovery Bruno S. (The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and Stroszek), and all of the six of the storied collaborations with his partner in madness, Klaus Kinski (Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Woyzeck, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Fitzcarraldo, Cobra Verde, and the doc detailing their explosive and highly entertaining relationship, My Best Fiend). The fact that Herzog is the only filmmaker to have worked with Kinski more than once is a true testament to his ferocious dedication. As Korine has put it: “He is a pure artist and maniac and there will never be another one like Herzog.”
Special thanks to Bret Berg.

Past Screening

Even Dwarfs Started Small

Directed by Werner Herzog

Herzog’s second narrative feature—and his strangest—about a group of little people confined at a remote institution who start a rebellion against the guards, is an important piece of the director’s early history, signaling the emergence of a true original.

Last available Jun 13 2021

Past Screening

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Directed by Werner Herzog

The first collaboration between Herzog and Klaus Kinski perfectly cast the actor as a mostly fictional version of the unhinged 16th-century conquistador Don Lope de Aguirre, who on his final mission, leads a crew down the Amazon on a slow descent into hell.

Last available Jun 16 2021

Past Screening

Land of Silence and Darkness

Directed by Werner Herzog

Fini Straubinger, a woman deaf and blind since a teen and who later in life uses her experiences to help positively guide others with similar afflictions, is the subject of Herzog’s life-affirming early documentary.

Last available Jun 20 2021

Past Screening

Fata Morgana

Directed by Werner Herzog

Herzog presents the Sahara and Sahel Deserts as a mesmerizing cacophony of long beautiful tracking shots set to music by Mozart, Handel, Couperin, and Leonard Cohen and narration by Lotte H. Eisner to relate his interpretation of the story of Mayan creation.

Last available Jun 23 2021

Past Screening

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Directed by Werner Herzog

First-time actor Bruno S. is a revelation of wide-eyed innocence as the mysterious real-life figure Kaspar Hauser, who as a young man was let loose into society after many years of unexplained confinement.

Last available Jun 27 2021

Past Screening

Heart of Glass

Directed by Werner Herzog

Herzog famously had the entire cast of this film hypnotized to create a dreamlike experience in telling the story of a glassworks owner in 18th-century Bavaria obsessed with replicating their “Ruby Glass” after the foreman goes to his grave holding its secret.

Last available Jun 30 2021

Past Screening

Stroszek

Directed by Werner Herzog

Bruno S. plays an ex–mental patient who dreams of America’s ”promised land”—but upon arriving in Wisconsin with his prostitute girlfriend and a near-senile man, the three find that they’re just as trapped there as they’d been in Germany.

Last available Jul 4 2021

Past Screening

Nosferatu the Vampyre

Directed by Werner Herzog

Herzog brashly took up the mantle of German Expressionism in revisiting the unhallowed soil of Murnau’s masterpiece, with Klaus Kinski filling Max Schreck’s shoes as the pestilent Count.

Last available Jul 7 2021

Past Screening

Woyzeck

Directed by Werner Herzog

In the most personal, emotional, and tragicomic of the Herzog/Kinski collaborations, Klaus Kinski plays a feckless soldier and father to an illegitimate child, whose impending madness is exacerbated by jealousy.

Last available Jul 11 2021

Past Screening

Fitzcarraldo

Directed by Werner Herzog

The epic story of obsession about an Irish entrepreneur (Klaus Kinski) endeavoring to build an opera house in the Amazon jungle features perhaps the most iconic image in all of Herzog’s dreamy cinematic output: a steamboat being hauled up over a steep hill.

Last available Jul 14 2021

Past Screening

Where the Green Ants Dream

Directed by Werner Herzog

A geologist leading a mining operation in the Australian Outback goes head-to-head with the Aboriginals who believe that any disturbance to the place where “the green ants dream” will result in doom and refuse to give up their sacred land with a fight.

Last available Jul 18 2021

Past Screening

Ballad of the Little Soldier

Directed by Werner Herzog & Denis Reichle

Herzog’s mid-length documentary, which he also narrates, focuses on the Nicaragua’s Miskito Indians rebellion against the Sandinistas in the 1980s, bringing to light the terrible, senseless tragedy of arming children for battle.

Last available Jul 21 2021

Past Screening

Cobra Verde

Directed by Werner Herzog

In the final Herzog/Kinski pairing, the actor is at his most magnetically crazed playing Francisco Manoel da Silva, aka Cobra Verde, a Brazilian bandit who becomes involved in the West African slave trade.

Last available Jul 25 2021

Past Screening

Lessons of Darkness

Directed by Werner Herzog

A gorgeous, almost voiceless piece of work, Herzog’s uniquely different kind of doc stunningly captures the almost sci-fi-like terrain of the expansive deserts of Kuwait, where its oil wells burned for several months at the close of the Persian Gulf War.

Last available Jul 28 2021

Past Screening

Little Dieter Needs to Fly

Directed by Werner Herzog

The doc version of Herzog’s two Dieter Dengler films incorporates both home-movie and archival footage to relate the details of his early life, as well as new scenes of the U.S. Navy pilot relating and sometimes reconstructing the traumatic details of his capture, torture, and miraculous escape from a Laotian POW camp during Vietnam.

Last available Aug 1 2021

Past Screening

My Best Fiend

Directed by Werner Herzog

Eight years after Klaus Kinski’s death, Herzog put together this documentary tribute, both celebratory and damning, to the fruitful and sometimes violently clashing working relationship he shared with the actor throughout a collaboration spanning five films and 16 years.

Last available Aug 4 2021