Director: thomas von steinaecker Script: thomas von steinaecker Cast: Werner Herzog, Guillermo de Oliveira, Lena Herzog, Nicole Kidman, Thomas Mauch, Joshua Oppenheimer, Robert Pattinson, Volker Schlöndorff, Patti Smith, Carl Weathers, Wim Wenders, Peter Zeitlinger, Chloé Zhao ea | Time to play: 102 minutes | Year: 2023
At best, German director Werner Herzog is an eccentric hero, at worst, he’s a megalomaniac madman. He dragged cameras into almost inaccessible dangerous corners, surrounded by frenetic people, only to return with beautiful film. fictional movies like Aguirre, the Wrath of God in fitzcarraldoand documentaries like Encounters at the End of the World, arose under almost impossible circumstances. But Herzog made them.
“I really don’t dream in the traditional sense of the word,” begins the protagonist of the -curiously titled soon- documentary Werner Herzog – Radical Dreamer. “But I dream in the waking world. When I’m behind the wheel, for example, all kinds of flying insects suddenly appear around me.” It’s these moments when you can hang out with the enigmatic figure that is Herzog. They also provide most of the entertainment in this documentary film. Let him narrate with his strange accent and he will be automatically captivating.
Also, this seems to be mostly an introductory course. Some of the frankly curious parts of the Herzog legend are early. To keep it vague: A remarkable interview with film journalist Mark Kermode and something with a shoe. Yes, those anecdotes attract attention, and with that you have not revealed everything about the rich life of Herzog. But they also quickly give a horizon to the degree of madness. Because how much stranger can everything get here? Not much.
Happy radical dreamer it’s not just a boring summary of Herzog’s career. Some colleagues and relatives also pass by to express their admiration for him. Joshua Oppenheimer – the one from movies like the act of killing a stunt documentary filmmaker can be called, he even plays a big fan. We also see Wim Wenders, Chloé Zhao, Christian Bale and Nicole Kidman. The most prominent presence is Carl Weathers, with whom Herzog only shared a few scenes as an actor in the Star Wars-series the mandalorian. I’m glad you were prepared for this.
The actor whose career is most closely linked to Herzog’s is Klaus Kinski, who died in 1991. A wild man on set, with sudden rages, and perhaps the only person crazier than Herzog himself. The director was often the only one who could hold him back a bit. That they even managed to make movies together can be called a small miracle. But Kinski was also a danger to others, something only really addressed with the latest joint project. Green Cobra.
The disadvantage of radical dreamer it’s that filmmaker Thomas van Steinacker simply channeled his admiration for Herzog into the film. The result is an informative eulogy that doesn’t seem to dare question Herzog’s methods, even playfully. Herzog deals with controversy, perhaps at his best. However, that controversy does not want to leak, at most a hint of it is noticeable in the mischievous smile of Herzog himself looking back.
As a result, longtime fans won’t get much new information or perspective from the documentary, but they may enjoy spending some time with their hero. For the uninitiated viewer, it can be a lot of information in a short time. It soon becomes clear how much you have to remove just to tell a coherent story about Herzog. And from a bird’s eye view it’s hard to get too deep. radical dreamer thus, it’s mostly a bit ‘Werner Herzog for Dummies’.