films seen
average score
Germany - 81 years old
Alive and kicking
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Herzog is a remarkable figure. Famous for his spats with Klaus Kinski, his illustrious documentaries, his signature voice and the occasional acting performance. His oeuvre is all over the place, but it has something for everyone.


The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call - New Orleans poster

Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World poster
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga poster

Lessons of Darkness

Lektionen in Finsternis
1992 / 54m - Germany
Lessons of Darkness poster

Herzog documents the Kuwait war, but not in a very traditional way. There are few interviews and little in the way of context, even Herzog's trademark voice-over is largely absent. Instead, he shows us hellish landscapes that often reminded me of fancy CG shots out of Hollywood disaster flicks.

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Lessons of Darkness is a rather poetic documentary, with a heavy focus on aesthetics to get its message across. I can only applaud that and I readily admit that the film looks quite stunning. I did find the grandeur of the music less fitting, and the interplay between audio and video a little lacking.

The film would've been ever better without the two or three interviews, which I felt detracted from the mood Herzog was trying to create. There are quite a few impressive scenes that linger well beyond the end credits and Herzog's approach deserves some praise, the execution could've been better though.

Rescue Dawn

2006 / 120m - USA
Rescue Dawn poster

The Wild Blue Yonder

2005 / 80m - Germany
The Wild Blue Yonder poster
La Soufrière - Warten auf eine Unausweichliche Katastrophe poster

Herzog's documentaries are always worth a shot. They don't always turn out great, but Herzog himself is such a peculiar figure that there's always a chance of some fun quotes or interesting angles. The same goes for La Soufrière, a somewhat haphazard doc about a volcano about to burst.

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When Herzog hears a volcano is about to go off on Guadeloupe, threatening to destroy the island, he gathers a crew to document the event. He finds a deserted island, except for one man who decided to stay behind. That sounds like a great story, sadly, it turns out to be somewhat less exciting.

Not so much that in the end the crisis is averted (the volcano never erupts), but the guy they find isn't really all that interesting. He becomes the primary subject of the documentary, but he just goes on about God and whatnot. Still, Herzog shoots some very nice pictures of the island and the deserted towns are pretty haunting. Decent.

Into the Inferno

2016 / 104m - UK
Into the Inferno poster


1982 / 158m - West Germany
Drama, Adventure
Fitzcarraldo poster

Heart of Glass

Herz aus Glas
1976 / 94m - West Germany
Heart of Glass poster

The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner

Die Große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner
1974 / 45m - West Germany
Documentary, Sport
The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner poster

Herzog has always alternated between narrative films and documentaries. So far, I hadn't seen much of his older docs, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner is the first I've seen and heralded by Herzog himself as one of his most important films. Can't say I understand why though.

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Steiner is a famed sky flyer (pretty much the same as ski jumping, only they go a lot further still) who broke several records in his time by crossing the farthest posts on the slopes. Herzog follows him around, detailing the dangers and appeal of the sport while underlying the often amateurish organization of the events.

While the close-ups and slo-mo footage of the jumps are quite nice, in the end it's still a pretty basic documentary about an athlete. One whose records have long since been beaten. Herzog makes the best of it and his enthusiasm makes sure that even people who don't care for the sport get something out of it, but in the end it's really not that special.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
1972 / 95m - West Germany
Drama, Adventure
Aguirre, the Wrath of God poster

Family Romance, LLC

2019 / 89m - USA
Family Romance, LLC poster

Herzog goes to Japan to make a film about a company that hires out actors, who become hired friends and/or family members for a day. It's not really a novel concept, but Herzog's documentary-style offers a new approach and the fact that the lead actor is also doing this job in real life adds a little intrigue.

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Sadly the film itself is quite poor. Herzog feels lost in Japan and apart from some template shots (like Shibuya Crossing) ends up giving off a very touristy vibe. The film looks quite ugly, the music is ill-fitting and because of the form I expected Herzog's voice to pop up and give commentary on the story.

The performances are quite poor too and the fragmented setup doesn't really add much. It's a failed experiment that might've worked better as an actual documentary rather than a feature film. It's weird that Herzog didn't see this himself, as he's quite fond of making documentaries. Not good at all.

Grizzly Man

2005 / 103m - USA
Grizzly Man poster

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Jeder für Sich und Gott gegen Alle
1974 / 110m - West Germany
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser poster

One of Herzog's lesser films. The premise is certainly interesting enough, but the film itself is poorly paced, the performances aren't great and the styling is disappointing. I felt like I had a good handle on the film early on and as I didn't like what I saw, it was tough to get through two hours of the same thing.

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Kaspar Hauser was found in Neurenberg, unable to talk and unaware of his whereabouts. He spent his early years in a dark cellar and was released only with a letter on him. A wild benefactor takes him in and tries to prepare him for civilization. While he is quick to learn, he doesn't accept everything they try to teach him.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser grants us a look at humanity through the eyes of someone who wasn't raised in our civilization. The idea is interesting enough, but the film is set two centuries ago and quite a lot has changed since then. More so, the film focuses on obvious quirks and easy targets (like religion), which felt cheap. I didn't care for it at all.