Last night, Stephen Colbert hosted Werner Herzog in an interview segment on The Colbert Report intended to promote the new film Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Mr. Herzog did that, certainly, explaining among other things, the artistry of the early humans who created the art that is still to be found in the caves. He said, for example, “They created ivory statuettes, Venus statuettes, way beyond Baywatch, by the way, with breasts like…” and then went on to talk about how the same people also invented God. Good stuff? You bet.
But, more important, Werner Herzog was also asked about his tendency to make stuff up in his documentaries, or to ‘intensify’ the truth. He is interested in, as he has said in other interviews, an “ecstatic truth” that is different from “accountant’s truth.” He begins talking about this by discussing the albino mutant alligators he created for Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and then goes into a spectacular rambling explanation of how he finds his own way to approach a documentary. Check the video after the break. Read More »
It’s like the space race all over again, only with a lot less tension, and sand instead of stars. Is there really enough interest in writer/political officer/archaeologist Gertrude Bell that development on parallel film projects is warranted? Not to diminish her accomplishments — she was quite a woman — but it seems strange nonetheless. And yet here we are, and better this than two more fairy tale movies. Werner Herzog is developing Queen of the Desert, possibly with Naomi Watts starring, and now Ridley Scott is getting to work on his own Gertrude Bell movie. Is this a Highlander situation? Can there be only one? Read More »
We’ve seen one trailer for Werner Herzog‘s first foray into 3D, the documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams, but this new trailer from Sundance Selects works a bit better than the initial edit. I’m still quite curious to see how this actually looks in 3D, but for now the old-fashioned 2D presentation will do.
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I would think that just about any actor would be quick to answer the call to work if the person on the was Werner Herzog. Looks like Naomi Watts is the latest to get the call, and the film Mr. Herzog reportedly has in mind is no small thing. It is called Queen of the Desert, and Naomi Watts would play Gertrude Bell in a film that could easily become a companion piece to Lawrence of Arabia. Read More »
Werner Herzog makes some irresistable documentaries. His latest is the 3D cave doc Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which did festival rounds late last year. Now there’s a trailer for the film, which you can see after the break. Read More »
It’s a big week for Werner Herzog fans. His new documentary, the 3D-shot Cave of Forgotten Dreams, will soon screen at the Toronto International Film Festival, and the first images have been revealed. (Above, for example.) And My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, the film he made with David Lynch producing, is hitting DVD in a couple weeks, so Herzog is doing the press rounds talking about that movie.
Some of the ensuing interviews are traditional press, in which he revealed that he’s got plans for at least two new films: a desert epic and a film set in a Texas maximum-security prison. And the director has spent this afternoon answering fan questions submitted via Twitter, with the video answers posted to YouTube. Read More »
A couple weeks ago, the Toronto International Film Festival announced their line-up of Galas and Special Presentations (aka the major films premiering at the festival). The list of films included Robert Redford‘s The Conspirator; George Hickenlooper‘s Casino Jack, The Bang Bang Club, starring Ryan Phillippe, Barney’s Version, starring Paul Giamatti, Darren Aronofsky‘s Black Swan, Ben Affleck‘s The Town, Alejandro Gonzalez Innarittu‘s Biutiful, Sylvain Chomet‘s The Illusionist, Kim Jee-woon‘s I Saw the Devil and Michael Winterbottom‘s The Trip.
Today the festival announced their documentary selections, which include Errol Morris‘ Tabloid, Thom Zimny‘s Bruce Springsteen doc The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, Kim Longinotto‘s Pink Saris, and Werner Herzog‘s 3-D cave drawing documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Hit the jump to see the full TIFF documentary line-up.
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Summer is fast approaching and Harmony Korine—the polarizing Nashville-based filmmaker irresponsible for directing Gummo and scribing Kids—has returned to combat the season’s flabbier atrocities. For everyone’s information, Korine believes his latest movie, Trash Humpers, should not be referred to in the press or elsewhere as “a movie” or “a film.” I think I see his point. I mean, after all Humpers doesn’t contain a shirtless Vince Vaughn tripping over models in Ibiza or Egyptian robot rockets penetrating a CGI brick wall that turns into sand. But since the not-a-movie is receiving a theatrical release this summer, I asked him to elaborate. Korine said Humpers might as well be projected into a toilet bowl or mailed anonymously to a closeted politician. And then he said something profound about granny’s undergarments and snickered like an asthmatic hick with dementia.
It’s the same asthmatic snicker heard in Trash Humpers, a sound horrifying enough to make “a grown man jump from a ledge,” as Korine comments below. Directed and edited to approximate a found VHS from hell, Humpers stars Korine and pals as three elderly degenerates with poor dermatology and a recreational interest in dumpster fornication and murder. Any semblance to narrative exhibited in his past works, including 2007’s Mister Lonely about a Michael Jackson impersonator, has been blown up like cherry bombed synapses. Humpers is a canvas for Korine’s obsession with disorienting repetition, inbred culture, and dysfunctional imagery. He wants to imprint the viewer’s brain with new moods, however terrible or tedious. And Humpers seems meant to occasionally alienate and punish the viewer, not for preferring popcorn to art or vice versa, but for believing there’s sense in making sense of anything.
Hunter Stephenson: Have you visited your tax man?
Harmony Korine: Have I what? Did I visit the tax man?
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UPDATE: According to a publicist who represents the producers and emailed me regarding the rumor.: “No – we have a slow 35 city roll out.” So, it appears many people beyond NY/LA will have a chance to dance in the moonlight with a cracked out Nicolas Cage.
It’s hard both to deny and describe the crazy cinematic potion that has flowed off the marketing materials and clips for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans thus far. I cannot align these entertaining yet toxic vibes with another recent film, and many critics who see it—and like it—seem to share the task. It’s as if the voodoo weirdness that floats throughout pockets of the troubled region seeped into the dailies and into the gainfully employed skin of star Nicolas Cage. Much of this can be chalked off to the film’s publicized equation of iguana hallucinations, wild-man director Werner Herzog, and crack rocks, the math of which has stirred up semi-ironic anticipation for the film within movie culture. Unfortunately, it may be that a wide theatrical release for this anomaly is no longer happening; First Look Pictures, the film’s U.S. distributor looks to rush the film to DVD/Blu-ray for a February 2010 release.
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If you’re interested in either of the two insane pieces of cinema Werner Herzog completed this year, you’ve probably seen the crudely cut, sales-type trailer for Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans that surfaced earlier this year. Now there’s a real, ‘meant for audiences’ trailer and, until the last few seconds when the iguanas and ‘dancing soul’ stuff hits, it almost looks…sane. Almost. Check it out after the break. Read More »