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Werner Herzog season in June and July at the BFI Southbank

13 June 2013

We're a little late with this story due to technical hiccups at this end, the BFI Southbank is currently running a comprehensive two-month long season of films by maverick director Werner Herzog, and if you're in the London area you should definitely give this a look and try to get to a few of the screenings.

Critic Geoff Andrew provides this introduction:

Accordingly Herzog’s work can never be satisfactorily categorised by genre, or even as fiction or documentary. Many of his features offer a profoundly personal dramatised version of a real-life story, most of his ‘documentaries’ foreground his own readily interventionist relationship with the subject in question, and several films blend actuality footage and imaginary scenarios. What defines a Herzog film, primarily, is neither its subject nor its style but his very presence as its creator – we are made immediately and constantly aware of his need both to tell a particular story and to tell it in a particular way. Herzog’s ‘truth’ is not confined to what most of us regard as historical, physical or ‘objective’ reality; he’s more concerned with other, less easily navigable realms of experience, from the darkest, innermost recesses of those irrational individuals we call human beings to the remotest, most inhospitable parts of our planet – and beyond, to whatever might be out there in the cosmos.

It’s long been something of a cliché to remark on Herzog’s fascination with extremes of experience. It’s true, however, that he believes people may reveal more of themselves when under pressure, and he’s made more than enough great films to justify that view. But so strong is his curiosity and so distinctive his way of looking at the world that he can take a subject which in other hands might make for banality and turn it into something rich and very rewardingly strange. That’s partly because he is what he is – a troubled and troubling conscience keen to ask awkward questions about the way things are – but he’s also a filmmaker blessed with an unusually observant eye, an ear extremely sensitive to sound and all sorts of music, and an acute understanding of what makes a good story. Famously, Werner Herzog, who hates the very idea of tourism, likes to travel by foot; walking, he has said, makes for a greater intensity of experience. His films, it seems to me, strive to do likewise.

The remaining films screening in June are:

  • Aguirre, Wrath of God
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small
  • Heart of Glass
  • The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner + How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
  • Fata Morgana
  • Stroszek
  • La Soufrière + God's Angry Man + Huie's Sermon
  • Woyzeck
  • La Soufrière + God's Angry Man + Huie's Sermon

The July films are:

  • The Ballad of the Little Soldier + The Dark Glow of the Mountain
  • Where the Green Ants Dream
  • Cobra Verde
  • Fitzcarraldo
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
  • Wodaabe – Herdsmen of the Sun + Lessons of Darkness
  • Echoes from a Sombre Empire
  • The Ballad of the Little Soldier + The Dark Glow of the Mountain
  • Jag Mandir: The Eccentric Private Theatre of the Maharaja of Udaipur
  • Little Dieter Needs to Fly
  • Scream of Stone
  • Bells from the Deep + Gesualdo - Death for Five Voices
  • The Transformation of the World into Music
  • Wings of Hope
  • My Best Fiend
  • Bells from the Deep + Gesualdo - Death for Five Voices
  • Rescue Dawn
  • Jag Mandir: The Eccentric Private Theatre of the Maharaja of Udaipur
  • Invincible
  • Wheel of Time
  • The White Diamond
  • Grizzly Man
  • The Wild Blue Yonder
  • Encounters at the End of the World
  • Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
  • My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done
  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams – 3D
  • Into the Abyss – A Tale of Death, a Tale of Life
  • On Death Row

Details of the films can be found HERE, which is also where you can buy your tickets.