Filmmaker Werner Herzog is a legendary name in cinema, producing a number of acclaimed films, including original works and documentaries. From horror to drama and to all ends of the Earth, he has taken us on one spectacular odyssey after another. His films are always visually captivating and innovate, but have you seen them all? Today’s Here’s 5 are stunning Werner Herzog directed movie moments.
Rescue Dawn (2006)
Dieter Dengler (Christian Bale) is a U.S. fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. On one mission, he is shot down over Laos and is soon captured by enemy soldiers. He is taken to an isolated prisoner of war camp and secluded with a few other servicemen, including Duane (Steve Zahn). The two plot and escape, and after enduring torture and starvation break into what seems the unending jungle. What follows is a harrowing nightmare that is one of the finest directed moments by Herzog.
The epic story of eccentric European Brian Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski - a favorite of Herzog's) and his quest to bring opera to the jungles of the Amazon is one of the great passions for Herzog as he did the unthinkable and actually hauled a steamship, by hand, up and over a steep hill on the river. It's a monumental sequence, but a journey down a terrifying line of brutal rapids, that should have killed them, is stunning. That's really the actors and Herzog on the boat. Madness.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
A ruthless and slightly mad Spanish conquistador named Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), leads an expedition to Peru in search of El Dorado, the mythical seven cities of gold. Accompanied by many, he rules with absolute authority and in this shocking moment, he beheads a man in his employ who speaks of leaving, not knowing Aguirre is so close. So quickly does he lose his head, it continues to speak its last word even detached from its body. Aguirre then stares into the camera and tells of great riches for those who stay and terrible death for those who don't.
Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
A man travels to visit the mysterious Count Dracula, looking to sell him property in Virna, but little does he know that the Count is actually a vampire and feeds on the peasants and towns-folks living under his shadow. The demented and deteriorating state of the people are blamed on the plague, which is also sweeping through the country. In one devastating scene, the man's fiancé Lucy (Isabelle Yasmina Adjani) walks into the doomed streets where people celebrate their fate with dance and food, all surrounded by a horde of feeding white rats. It's a macbre yet oddly beautiful moment.
Grizzly Man (2005)
Trying to make sense of the life and death of naturalist Timothy Treadwell, a man who chose to life many months of each year in the company of wild grizzly bears on an Alaskan reserve is not east thing to watch. Herzog compiles actual video footage recored by Treadwell along with testimony from the few people who knew him. The film culminates in an absolutely chilling moment when the director himself listens to the audio of Treadwell's and his girlfriend's death as he is attacked by a bear and eaten. We do not hear but by watching Herzog, we don't have to. His words of advice to the woman who owns the recording haunts long after it's over.