SPORT AND FANATICISM
GOETHE INSTITUT SCHWEDEN presents 13 Selected Films of WERNER HERZOG in cooperation with Föreningen Film i Malmö.
Entrance to all films is FREE and open to the public (minimum age 15). No membership is required.
WELCOME! We are very proud to offer this rare opportunity to see the works of Werner Herzog, a true master filmmaker, on the big screen!
24/7 WEDNESDAY 21:00 (1973, 47min, german, english, slovenian with english subtitles)
This magnificent documentary is a both a study of sporting endeavour and a journey into the psychology of a man willing to risk his very existence to attain his life long dream of flight. The Swiss ski jumper/flier Walter Steiner is probably Werner Herzog’s perfect protagonist. Steiner is an exceptional and introverted figure, a man on the edge of the world, who lives a life of contrasting and conflicting emotions. On the one hand Steiner lives a simple rural life in which he spends his days quietly carving objects out of wood. He appears unassuming and shy, somewhat awkward and self conscious in front of the camera, although when left to his thoughts is surprisingly eloquent and poetic. Herzog deftly emphasises the mundane aspects of Steiner’s life which allows for a far greater impact when we see Steiner launching himself at ridiculous speeds into the alpine skies and clearing 170 meters. The film opens with this image – a beautiful but eerie shot of Steiner in slow motion, his mouth agape, the mountainous backdrop still and implacable and the ethereal music of Popol Vuh giving the shot a resonance and grandeur that slips it into the realm of the ecstatic. (Review by Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway])
24/7 WEDNESDAY 21:50 (1962, 10min, german with english subtitles)
With his filmic debut, shot on 35 mm celluloid, Herzog explores the art of editing, and although Herakles is little more than an editorial exercise, it does contain a few images that will be of interest to Herzog enthusiasts. A coup for the film was the participation of Reinhardt Lichtenberg who in 1962 was crowned Mr. Germany, and it is Lichtenberg who is the locus of attention in the sequences that explore the training programme of the modern bodybuilder. Herzog’s relatively static camera not only shows the rippling torso’s of these self styled supermen as they pump iron, but also shows the narcissism that forms a logical flipside to their grunting endeavours. The meat heads pose in front of mirrors, and on stages, and clearly relish the presence of the camera, but the overriding sensation is of a self-contained and self-absorbed world in which reality is measured by size and definition. Herzog highlights this selfishness with a series of impressive shots culled from film libraries; a huge rubbish dump, uniformed women marching in unison, surprisingly graphic footage of an accident at a motor race in which members of the audience were killed, traffic jams, and fighter planes dropping their deadly payload to explosive effect. (Review by Shaun Anderson [The Celluloid Highway]) While the juxtapositioning of these differing images remains unclear, considering Herzog’s later achievements, the intention is worth exploring.
24/7 WEDNESDAY 22:00(1969, 12min, german with english subtitles)
The film features several horse trainers and other track workers talking about their roles at the
track, including an older man who claims to be the true authority, and a recurring young man,
the first to appear, who claims to protect the horses from fanataic enthusiastic racing fans. The
film is shot in a documentary style, but the sheer implausibility of the dialogue leaves the
exact nature of the film ambiguous.