terça-feira, 11 de maio de 2010


Fata Morgana
HERZOG (1971)

Possibly Werner Herzog's most experimental work, FATA MORGANA defies categorization. Is it a narrative feature? A documentary? A metaphysical essay on film? As the director himself has noted, it regards Earth and its creatures as if from the curious, alienated viewpoint of interplanetary visitors. The first section, "Creation," captures Sahara Desert landscapes so stark that they seem to defy life-forms to survive there. The remaining two parts ("Paradise" and "the Golden Age") approach human civilization warily with an ever-increasing sense of absurdist humor. Voiceover narration includes the voice of prominent German film critic/historian Lotte Eisner and excerpts from the Mayan mystical text the Popul Vuh (not to be confused with the same-named musicians who scored Herzog's later films). Musical choices underline the idiosyncrasy of the overall vision, ranging from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Leonard Cohen to the respectively "heavy" and freeform improvisational rock of Blind Faith and Third Ear Band. While much of FATA MORGANA is meditative and gently thought-provoking, its making was not without peril: at one point in Cameroon the director and crew were beaten, arrested and jailed because a crew member was mistaken for a German mercenary on the lam from authorities. - Dennis Harvey

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