Wide-ranging documentaries by Werner Herzog, known for his Wagnerian treatment of his subjects, are being screened at Istanbul Modern.
Documentaries that reach from volcanic mountains to the oceans and from African natives to Buddhist priests by Werner Herzog, a master of Germancinema, will be screened at IstanbulModern Cinema in early November.
Istanbul Modern Cinema is presenting 24 shorts and documentaries made by Herzog since 1962 between November 1 and 11. Organized in partnership with Goethe Institute Istanbul, the screening program also includes four films on the life and cinema of the director, celebrated for his impressive fictions.
Director Herzog’s films have received considerable critical acclaim and achieved popularity on the art house circuit.
A notable example is “Fitzcarraldo,” in which the obsessiveness of the central character was mirrored by the director during the making of the film, as shown in “Burden of Dreams,” a documentary filmed during the making of “Fitzcarraldo.” His treatment of subjects has been characterized as Wagnerian in its scope, as “Fitzcarraldo” and his later film “Invincible” (2001) are directly inspired by opera, or operatic themes. He is proud of never using storyboards and often improvising large parts of the script, as he explains on the commentary track to “Aguirre, the Wrath of God.”
Herzog was honored at the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival with the 2006 Film Society Directing Award. Four of his films have been shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival: “Wodaabe – Herdsmen of the Sun” in 1990, “Bells from the Deep” in 1993, “Lessons of Darkness” in 1993 and “The Wild Blue Yonder” in 2006. Herzog’s April 2007 appearance at Ebertfest in Champaign, Illinois earned him the Golden Thumb Award and an engraved glockenspiel given to him by a young filmmaker inspired by his films. “Grizzly Man,” directed by Herzog, won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. “Encounters at the End of the World” won the award for Best Documentary at the 2008 Edinburgh International Film Festival and was nominated for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature, Herzog’s first nomination.
In 2009, Herzog became the only filmmaker in recent history to enter two films in competition in the same year at the prestigious Venice Film Festival. Herzog’s “The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” was entered into the festival’s official competition schedule, and his “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?” entered the competition as a “surprise film.” Herzog also provided the narration for the short film “Plastic Bag,” directed by Ramin Bahrani, which was the opening night film in the Corto Cortissimo section of the festival. Herzog is also a jury member for the digital studio Filmaka, a platform for undiscovered filmmakers to show their work to industry professionals.
Herzog was the president of the jury at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival. He was the guest of honor the 15th International Film Festival of Kerala in 2010.
The museum will start with “Herakles,” which reaches beyond the confines of documentary cinema while reflecting a central idea of the director’s films.
“Fata Morgana” depicts a poetic and surreal journey to Africa. “La Soufrière,” “Lessons of Darkness” and “Herdsmen of the Sun” are among the movies which will be shown in the Creation and Apocalypse section.
The Beginning and End of Language category includes “Last Words,” “Land of Silence and Darkness,” “How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck,” “Huie’s Sermon” and “God’s Angry Man.” In the “Warriors and Perpetrators” section “Precautions Against Fanatics,” “The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz” and “Echoes from a Sombre Empire” will be shown.
The At Lift-Off and Come-Down segment includes “Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner,” “Dark Glow of the Mountains: Gasherbrum,” “Wings of Hope,” “Gesualdo,” “The White Diamond” and “The Wild Blue Yonder.” Films on the director himself will include “Werner Herzog Filmmaker,” “Until the End… And Even Further,” “I am my Films – Part 1” and “I am my Films – Part 2… 30 Years Later.”
(Hürriyet Daily News)