Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Truth

I recently watched Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man about the life and death of naturalist Timothy Treadwell. It's a stunning film pitting Herzog's world view of nature as brutish and cruel against Treadwells' more benign one.
"The birds are in misery, I don't think they sing. They just screech in pain."
Herzog constructs a beautiful film about a very disturbing subject. His sympathetic portrait of Treadwell, a guy who obviously had a deathwish, comes from identifying with the young man's humanity by looking beyond his fanaticism and vanity.

As he is in all his films, Herzog is in pursuit of what he has called "ecstatic truth":
"The term 'ecstatic truth' is searching for truth beyond the facts and much deeper than facts; that is something I look out for and Grizzly Man is a very good example of it."
His most recent film Encounters at the End of the World is just as brilliant, but captures nature in a far less brutish mood.

Below is a clip from the 1980 short film, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.

1 comment:

  1. Very nice post, I'll try and catch this move and see how it goes for me.