Departmental Papers (CIMS)

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Book Chapter

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The Films of Werner Herzog: Between Mirage and History

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Enigmas, flying doctors, ecstasies, fanatics, dwarfs, sermons, woodchucks, and phantoms: the perverse menagerie of images and abstractions that form the body of Werner Herzog's mesmerizing and exasperating films. Eating one's shoe: the raw emblem of a critical response to film-making, offered by a filmmaker who hopes to rescue the world with images, while claiming that "film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates" (Greenberg et al., 1976, 174). Indeed, the last surprise should be that Herzog and his films, perhaps more than the films of any other contemporary director, suffer from the very excessiveness which distinguishes them and their histrionic director, distorted equally by extreme adulation and extreme condemnation.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This chapter was originally published in Timothy Corrigan (1986), The Films of Werner Herzog: Between Mirage and History. Pages 3-19. New York: Routledge.



Date Posted:01 December 2017