The icy observations of Werner Herzog
Despite the multiple cinematic explorations of his rocky relationship with Mother Nature, it’s difficult to get a handle on just what mad German director Werner Herzog thinks about the less urban areas of our globe. Films like Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, Where the Green Ants Dream, Grizzly Man and Rescue Dawn have pitted Herzog’s iconoclastic, single-minded heroes (real or imagined) against the pitiless mercies of nature. It’s a battle that mankind rarely wins—at least in the lens of Herzog’s camera. So what is Herzog’s obsession with greenery? Does he have a love/hate relationship with Gaia? A fear/fascination with the Forest Primeval? Has he read Moby-Dick one too many times? Whatever the answer, Herzog’s works are nearly always fascinating to behold.