Little Dieter Needs To Fly (1997)

WERNER HERZOG Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. Germany/United Kingdom/France, 1997.  Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, ZDF Enterprises, British Broadcasting Corporation, Arte, Media Ventures, Outpost Studios.  Screenplay by Werner Herzog.  Cinematography by Peter Zeitlinger.  Produced by Lucki Stipetic.  Film Editing by Joe Bini, Glen Scantlebury, Rainer Standke.   Werner Herzog investigates the life of Dieter Dengler, shot down over Laos…

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Queen Of The Desert

BB.5 (out of 5) Bored of life in the quiet English countryside, Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) heads to the middle east at the turn of the century to turn the entire Arab world on its ear, a pre-cursor to T.E. Lawrence (with whom she crossed paths on more than one occasion, portrayed here by a…

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The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu)

BBBB (out of 5) Animation becomes poetry as Hayao Miyazaki makes what he has announced as his final film into an ode to dreaming itself.  This beautiful romance between both a man and a woman and a boy and his childhood dream tells the true story of Jiro Horikoshi, who adored flight as a child…

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What Dreams May Come

B.5 (out of 5) Robin Williams plays a happy family man, married to Annabella Sciorra, who tries to help a car accident victim and ends up getting himself killed in a highway tunnel. Next thing he knows he’s being escorted around an oil painting-inspired utopia by welcome wagon Cuba Gooding Jr., discovering the many wonderful things…

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Into The Abyss

BBB.5 (out of 5) Werner Herzog has had great success navigating between the worlds of fiction and documentary, almost always fixing his gaze on a singular personality whose nature puts them at odds with their society.  Into The Abyss is meant to be an exploration of the characters he observes on death row in Texas,…

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Cave of Forgotten Dreams

BBB.5 (out of 5) A cave in rural France becomes the central hub of the human imagination when it is discovered to possess drawings on its walls made tens of thousands of years ago by early humans, drawings which have gone unseen by the human eye since. Werner Herzog had the rare privilege of being…

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The Bad Lieutenant: Port Of Call – New Orleans

BB (out of 5) This free form remake of a recent film, which director Werner Herzog casually admits that he has never seen, should have been a hell of a lot crazier, particularly as Nicolas Cage gives one of his most unabashedly campy performances.  He plays a tough New Orleans cop who becomes a drug addict following an…

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Encounters At The End Of The World

BBB.5 (out of 5) Werner Herzog explores the south pole but promises us that he has not gone there to make another movie about penguins…though it can’t be helped, and eventually he does display them at some point in this absorbing documentary. He also captures the daily life of scientists studying the climate (and climate…

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Rescue Dawn

BBBB.5 (out of 5) American army pilot Christian Bale is sent on a top-secret mission into 1965 Laos during the early stages of the Vietnam war, only to be shot down by enemy gunfire. He finds himself locked up in a prisoner-of-war camp with five other prisoners, all of whom have become a little mentally…

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Invincible

BB (out of 5) A Jewish blacksmith with muscles the size of boulders performs a feat of strength in a circus act one night to clear a debt to a local tavern in 1930s Poland. Spotted by a talent agent, he is brought to Berlin where he is given a job performing strongman feats at…

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Woyzeck

BBBB (out of 5) Klaus Kinski gives a haunting performance in this dramatically charged adaptation of Georg Buchner’s oft-filmed play. Directed by Werner Herzog with his usual emphasis on human anomaly, it stars Kinski as the orderly posted in his tiny town to “guard” the gates, but most of the time is beset on all sides…

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Nosferatu The Vampyre (Nosferatu: Phantom Der Nacht)

BBB.5 (out of 5) Deliciously creepy remake of the F.W. Murnau classic, this time filtered through Werner Herzog’s imagination and the stylings of his lead actor Klaus Kinski (who hardly needs any help from the makeup department to look like a ghoul). Count Orlock (Kinski) is ravaging an eastern European hamlet with his vampiric feasting…

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