Werner Herzog I: Darkness of the Continents and the Soul

Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness
—Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog is one of those rare and extraordinary filmmakers to have made films, both fiction and documentaries, in all parts of the globe, including the extreme Amazon and Antarctica.  His constant endeavor is to explore the wild and unexplored nature and the dark terrains of human mind to illuminate the fascinating unknown.

Werner Herzog never received formal training in the art of filmmaking. When he came to Munich as a 12-year-old boy displaced by the World War II, he had never listened to music nor studied any instruments. His family shared their apartment with Klaus Kinski who went to become his best friend and fiend for life. Herzog was determined to be a filmmaker even as a teenager. He pursued the art relentlessly and passionately, stepping beyond the norms of popular filmmaking and entertainment. His films bear his unique artistic impression and never transcend into the business of entertainment.

Herzog’s passionate curiosity of the world and human mind is reflected in all his films. Be it Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Grizzly Man or Fitzcarraldo or any other fiction film; he tears off masks of civility from faces of all his characters in his stories revealing dark, chaotic, and obsessive souls, which are alive and in pursuit of a dream or an ambition.  He makes them push their limits and achieve their dreams even in the face of total destruction.  Untamed, wild and unpredictable nature is pitted against equally wild, passionate and brutal human mind. His documentaries explore natural, magical, and unexplored parts of the globe and equally magical creative human souls in the pursuit of their dreams and passions.

In this series, The Fiendish will look at some films of the genius who himself is a fiend personified and who forcefully dives beneath the thin icy layer of civilization to explore deep oceans of chaos and darkness underneath.


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