Sunday, November 6, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog
5 titles, 56th in points with 13,638

12 titles in all made polls, if all points were included, he would be 41st

Born Werner H. Stipetic in Munich, Germany, Herzog is one of the more visionary directors alive. His films like to penetrate the harshness of nature as a primal force that overpowers men. Many of these are documentaries, so I labeled them as (doc).

These are all the films of Werner Herzog’s that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)  #83
2. Fitzcarraldo (1982) Germany  #424
3. Grizzly Man (2005) #540 (doc)
4. Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, The (1974) #554
5. Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010) #880 (doc)

Those out of the top 1000, 7 more titles:
6. Encounters at the End of the World (2007) #1024 (doc)
7. White Diamond, The (2004) #1146 (doc)
8. Land of Silence and Darkness (1971) #1615 (doc)
9. Lessons of Darkness (1982) #1616 (doc)
10. Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009) #1733
11. Nosferatu: Phantom of the Night (1979) #1759
12. My Best Friend (1999) #2137 (doc)

Herzog is a director of vision and one perhaps prone to become obsessed with those visions, which makes him one of the most interesting directors alive.

Herzog moved this boat over a hill in the
jungle in Fitzcarraldo

Fitzcarraldo is my favorite, a mad jungle adventure with opera and a big river boat. Les Blank’s documentary of the making of this, Burden of Dreams (1982), shows just how obsessed Herzog can get with a film project.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God is another great adventure in South America, also starring Klaus Kinski, who’s a bit more mad here than as Fitzcarraldo. He seems to have truly lost it as a Spanish conquistador obsessed with finding the city of gold.

Grizzly Man was a riveting documentary about a man who lived among grizzly bears in the Alaskan wilderness. My Best Friend is about his relationship with actor Klaus Kinski.

Not ranked but also worthy of being in the top 1000 is Cobra Verde (1987) (see review here), his last with Kinski, about a South American sugar cane plantation manager sent to Africa to see about some trouble there in connection with slave trading.

His overall films' awards total 35 out of 58 nominations:

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

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