About the daring adventure of exploring rain forest canopy with a novel flying device-the Jungle Airship. Airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington embarks on a trip to the giant Kaieteur ... See full summary »
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Viet Cong, recreating many events for the camera.
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
In 1994, a group of scientists discovered a cave in Southern France perfectly preserved for over 20,000 years and containing the earliest known human paintings. Knowing the cultural significance that the Chauvet Cave holds, the French government immediately cut-off all access to it, save a few archaeologists and paleontologists. But documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog, has been given limited access, and now we get to go inside examining beautiful artwork created by our ancient ancestors around 32,000 years ago. He asks questions to various historians and scientists about what these humans would have been like and trying to build a bridge from the past to the present.Written by
According to cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger in his talk at the Berlinale Talents 2015, the first 20 minutes of the film are shot with two GoPro Hero cameras taped side-to-side (one upside down), because at the time of shooting no 3D-system small enough for the cave shoot was available. The rest of the film was shot on professional, higher-quality 2k 3D-cameras with follow-focus, when they later became available. See more »
This is a truly awful mess. Harzog's reputation must have swayed many critics, preventing them, perhaps out of overawed politeness, from admitting that this is too long and too empty, and not at all helped by the director's vaporings. He wonders rhetorically, at one point, whether 'We are the crocodiles of the future gazing into the distant past' or some such nonsense. (I liked him better when he was shoving boats over mountains.) This business comes at the end, when we (for what reason?) visit a nuclear power station whose waste heat is being used (again, for what reason?) in a kind of hot house to raise crocodiles. Another more important irrelevancy is a prolonged visit with museums elsewhere in Europe; there we hear about the sort of humans who never entered our cave. There are numerous interviews with experts; they convey little except that they are quite impressed with themselves. One of them proposes that the ancient cave artists used spears made of wood with a sharp piece of bone for a point, and insist on demonstrating his ineptitude in throwing it (at nothing). Another plays 'The Star-Spangled Banner' on a bone flute. Another talks about what we can see in a specific painting--but we can't, as the camera doesn't pause for a look.
The art? It's fantastic stuff, thrillingly beautiful--and my experience of it was damaged by Herzog's refusal to recognize the fact: there isn't very much of it, and showing the same images over and over and over again seriously dilutes their impact, especially when accompanied by varying (often awful) lighting; gassy, fake-cosmic narration (what WAS Herzog smoking??); and a score that could be used as a substitute for water-boarding. All this babble and repetition is necessary because Herzog never had enough material to make into a movie. National Geographic would have done this in an hour, not 90 minutes, done it better, and not wasted any resources on 3D.
Unprecedented access? Yes! 32,000 years old? Probably! Moving and beautiful art? Yes, but so little that my wife's comment sums it up well: 'This isn't a movie. It's ten great postcards.'
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