Despite having an awful lot more time to indulge in high brow pursuits these days, I have yet to fathom Werner Herzog.
In earlier days, the German filmmaker directed story-driven films. The unique feature of one of them, Fitzcaraldo, was that Herzog actually had a team of people pull a paddlesteamer over a hill (possibly of Leith Hill size). This does not happen quickly and the film feels like it’s shot in real time.
Herzog also had a penchant for casting the late Klaus Kinski in, well, everything. Kinski was something of a legendary figure in the acting world but, like Herzog, he’s lost on me. It never seemed to occur to Klaus that characters might have other dimensions than psychotically intense.
Mercifully, Herzog’s latest documentary, Encounters at the End of the World, has no paddle steamer sequence and (obviously) no Kinski. It’s received rave reviews. And at last I understood.
Herzog’s magic, to me, is that he enables his audience to escape time. I was in there 100 minutes. Every one was an eternity.