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Herzog in the news

2010 September 16
by smonani

It’s always been hard for me to resist any titbits on Werner Herzog and his movies. So, I had to post a link to the NPR story this morning. Herzog chats on Morning Edition about his film school and its required readings and screenings.

Listening to his categorical statements (for example, about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers) conjures up scenes from so many of his own films, where the certainty of his point of view is so absolute its terrifying. Think of that scene in Grizzly Man towards the end, inter-spliced in with the death scene unfolding where Herzog lets us linger on Treadwell’s footage of a close-up of a grizzly, its head taking up the full screen. Here voice-of-Herzog comments: “And what haunts me, is that in all the faces of all the bears that Treadwell ever filmed, I discover no kinship, no understanding, no mercy. I see only the overwhelming indifference of nature. To me, there is no such thing as a secret world of the bears. And this blank stare speaks only of a half-bored interest in food.”

Perhaps one has to be so categorical to be a director of Herzog’s caliber and to generate the dialogue that his films demand. For those interested in readings just on Herzog’s Grizzly Man, consider the handful of articles all published in the few years since the film premiered (a google search reveals more and Paula Willoquet’s edited collection includes a chapter too):

Jeong, Seung-Hoon and Dudley Andrew. “Grizzly ghost: Herzog, Bazin and the cinematic animal.” Screen (2008) 49 (1): 1-12.

Ladino, Jennifer K. “For the Love of Nature: Documenting Life, Death, and Animality in Grizzly Man and March of the Penguins.” Interdisciplinary Study of Literature and Environment (2009) 16 (1): 53-90.

Neimanis, Astrida. “Becoming-Grizzly: Bodily Molecularity and the Animal that Becomes.” PhaenEx, 2.2 (2007)

White, John. “On Werner Herzog’s Documentary Grizzly Man: Psychoanalysis, Nature, and Meaning.” Fast Capitalism, 4.1.

One Response leave one →
  1. Steve Rust permalink*
    September 20, 2010

    My favorite Herzog image at this moment is from Encounters at the End of the World, where he asks why monkeys haven’t evolved to ride goats.

    One more terrific take on Griz Man that focuses on the Grizzly Maze.

    David Luka, “Consuming Timothy Treadwell: Redefining Nonhuman Agency in Light of Herzog’s Grizzly Man” in ANIMALS AND AGENCY. Eds. Mcfarland and Hediger. Brill: 2009.

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