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|Series compiled by:
Gwen Deglise, program notes by Dennis Bartok and William Boodell.
|Special Thanks to: IPMA, Jonathan Howell/ NEW YORKER FILMS, Chela Johnson &
Katie Walsh / LIONS GATE, Irma Strehle / WERNER HERZOG FILM WORLDSALES
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are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and
renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently
renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood
Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.
<< March 22 - 25, 2007
Poet of Doom, An In Person Retrospective
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This Series is an Aero Theatre exclusive!
Presented in association with Goethe-Insitut Los Angeles.
"Herzog is a darkly comic poet with a cawing inner language that seems to have
been learned from vultures, beggars, prophets, clowns, deaf genius musicians." - The
New Yorker, 1978; "A consummate poet of doom" - Janet Maslin, NY
The films of director Werner Herzog are a mesmerizing combination of spiritual
rebellion and cosmic slapstick - EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST ALL, as one title
put it. Notorious for his own acts of Ahab-like defiance - dragging a ship across a
mountain for FITZCARRALDO, hypnotizing the cast of HEART OF GLASS - Herzog
has written and produced nearly all his own films, defying not only nature but (more
impressively) the industry. Born Werner Stipetic in Bavaria in 1942, Herzog studied
literature and history at the University of Munich, and made his first short film HERAKLES
(1961) with a purportedly-stolen 35 mm. camera. Herzogs first feature, SIGNS OF LIFE
(1968) established the themes that would re-occur through out his career: a dreamlike,
desiccated landscape (Greece); mythological references; and the increasing terror of a man
at odds with himself and his environment. Hailed by critic Lotte Eisner as "a
romantic spirit inspired by German silents" (he would later walk a healing
pilgrimage from Munich to Paris when Eisner fell sick), Herzog emerged with Fassbinder and
Wenders at the forefront of the New German Cinema movement in the 1970s.
Alternating between epic historical dramas (AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD; FITZCARRALDO)
and brilliant, unnerving documentaries (LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY, MY BEST FIEND - KLAUS
KINSKI), Herzog has produced a body of images unmatched for their audacity and surreal
beauty. With his latest feature RESCUE DAWN (soon to be released theatrically by MGM),
Herzog continues to embrace life at its most apocalyptic extremes.
We are thrilled to welcome director Werner Herzog to the
Thursday, March 22 7:30 PM
Werner Herzog In Person!
New 35mm Print! NOSFERATU, THE VAMPYRE, 1978, IPMA, 107 min. Dir. Werner Herzog.
An homage to Murnaus 1922 classic, Herzogs NOSFERATU achieves its own hypnotic
power by evoking a romantic past of waterfalls and mist-filled valleys, and through the
eerie sensuality of Klaus Kinskis performance. Like Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo,
Kinskis Nosferatu is driven by the need for an unknowable spiritual ecstasy - in
this case, Isabelle Adjanis ethereal Lucy. With Bruno Ganz. Director
Werner Herzog to introduce screening.
Friday, March 23 7:30 PM
New 35mm Print! THE MYSTERY OF
KASPAR HAUSER (aka EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF AND GOD AGAINST
ALL), 1974, New Yorker Films, 110 min. One of the landmark works of the New German
Cinema, this film is based on a true story of a wild young man found wandering the streets
of Nuremberg in 1828. Lead actor Bruno S. was himself a former mental patient and street
musician; the pairing of the actor and character gives a startling edge to director Werner
Herzogs parable of innocence corrupted. "KASPAR HAUSER is one of the purest film examples I know of in which
an artist of Romantic sensibility puts society to the test and finds it wanting. It's a
reworking of the foundling myth (like Truffaut's WILD CHILD ) based on an actual 19th
century incident in which a man mysteriously appeared in a German town and claimed he had
been raised in a dark room with no human contact." Walter V. Addiego, San
HEART OF GLASS (HERZ AUS GLAS), 1976, New
Yorker Films, 93 min. A whole town is thrown into confused despair when its foremost
industry, the manufacture of "Ruby Glass," comes to an abrupt halt. The problem
is that the only man who knows how the glass is made has died. Always abstract and many
times absurdist, HEART OF GLASS divides its attention amongst the various townspeople as
they struggle with the towns loss as well as their own personal problems. Director Werner
Herzog finds yet another creative way to use his performers by having the whole cast
minus one (Josef Bierbichler as the towns melancholy prophet-in-residence,
Hias) hypnotized all to get performances onscreen the likes of which no audience
has ever seen before. It is pretty safe to say that he accomplishes just that. Ultimately,
Herzogs foray into the allegorical and abstract is an intriguingly oblique,
metaphysical journey into loss, anger and despair with just the slightest glimmer of hope.
Director Werner Herzog to speak between
Saturday, March 24 7:30 PM
Werner Herzog In Person!
New 35mm Print! AGUIRRE,
THE WRATH OF GOD, 1972, New Yorker Films, 93 min. Klaus Kinski is Aguirre, a
power hungry lunatic who leads a Spanish military expedition down the Amazon in hopes of
finding El Dorado, the legendary city of gold. From the opening images of conquistadors
snaking their way through the jungle, director Werner Herzogs epic achieves a
rare, operatic delirium. Laced with surreal humor - "spears are getting longer this
year," notes one skewered soldier -- AGUIRRE is the first of the great Kinski -
Herzog collaborations (the two reportedly met when their families shared a house together
in Munich). With Helena Rojo, Del Negro.
New 35mm Print! FITZCARRALDO, 1982, IPMA, 158 min. Rubber baron and music
fanatic Fitzcarraldo (Klaus Kinski) journeys down the darkest byways of the Amazon
to build an opera house at the rain forests heart. Like his title character,
director Werner Herzog reaches an ambitious pinnacle of achievement here the
staggeringly impossible odds that seem to weigh against Fitzcarraldo ever reaching his
goal were mirrored by Herzogs own attempts to complete the film (which were
chronicled in Les Blanks astonishing documentary, BURDEN OF DREAMS). Co-starring a
ravishing Claudia Cardinale as Fitzcarraldos strong, outspoken paramour who
believes in him. A must-see! Discussion in between films with
director Werner Herzog.
Sunday, March 25 7:30 PM
New 35mm Print! LESSONS OF DARKNESS, 1992, IPMA, 50 min.
Herzogs meditation on the apocalypse might be called "documentary Sci-Fi;"
an unseen alien visits the oil well fires of Kuwait, to the tune of Mahler and Verdi. As
Herzog himself described it, "theres none of that National Geographic telephoto
lens crap we went right in till the camera started to melt!"
GRIZZLY MAN, 2005, Lions Gate, 103 min. Director Werner
Herzog chronicles the exploits of real-life grizzly bear activists, Timothy Treadwell
and Amie Huguenard who were killed while living amongst the animals in October
2003.Treadwell carried a digital video camera with him the last five summers he spent in
Alaska following the grizzlies, and Herzog interweaves this amazing footage with
interviews of Treadwells survivng friends and relatives."
indefatigable Werner Herzog has made a brilliant documentary about an American saint and
foola man who understands everything about nature except death
Doolittle act worked extremely well, right up to the moment when it stopped working at
all." David Denby, The New Yorker Discussion
in between films with director Werner Herzog.