Werner Herzog

  |  Buy to Own: 22/08/2005
  |  473 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Five films from acclaimed and unconventional German director Werner Herzog, famed for his blending of documentary realism with heightened stylisation, as well as his volatile temper and his obsessive abilities to complete physically demanding shoots in dangerous locations. 'Even Dwarfs Started Small' (1970) is set in a rural asylum, where a group of midgets are tormented in an off-hand way by their keepers. Rebelling against their treatment, the dwarfs take over the asylum and reverse their position. 'Fata Morgana' (1971) is set in an hallucinatory desert landscape in North Africa, using Herzog's trademark of juxtaposing human frailties and the need for endurance against majestic, unforgiving landscapes. 'Heart of Glass' (1976) is Herzog's disquisition about the value of art, and explores the life of an 18th century glass blower. It was rumoured that Herzog used hypnosis to achieve the desired effects from his cast. 'The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser' (1975) is based on a true story, about the 19th century child prodigy who wandered into a rural German village with no knowledge of who he was or where he came from. Feared by the authorities and the local populace, who view him with suspicion, Hauser is eventually killed in a mysterious attack. Former mental patient Bruno S. plays Hauser. Finally, in 'Stroszek' (1977), Herzog uses Bruno S. in another role to convey the isolation and confusion of a street musician recently released from prison. Abruptly deciding to move to America, along with his prostitute girlfriend and an eccentric, elderly neighbour, the musician is quickly disabused of his notions about the land of the free.