Werner Herzog, Guest of Honor for the 3rd edition
German director Werner Herzog (Munich, 1942) will be the Guest of Honor during the third edition of the MAPFRE FOUNDATION 4+1 Film Festival, which will be held simultaneously in Bogota, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro from November 21st through the 25th 2012. The Festival will pay tribute to this filmmaker’s career by screening some of his most important works as well as some films that audiences in these five cities did not have a chance to see. As the Guest of Honor, Herzog will be present at the Official Headquarters for the third edition, Rio de Janeiro, where he’ll offer a master class on his view of culture and what he, in his own words, describes as, “the collective agitation of the mind.”
Since shooting his first film at age nineteen, Herzog has produced, written and directed more than sixty feature-length fiction and documentary films, including such titles as: Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes; 1972); Fitzcarraldo (1982), which won him Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival; Lessons of Darkness (1992); Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997); My Best Fiend (1999); Invincible (2000), Grizzly Man (2009), Encounters at the End of the World (2007) and Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2011) -winner of the New York Critics Circle Best Feature-Length Documentary Award.
Fiction and documentary in Herzog’s work
It is precisely the confluence of these two genres, fiction and documentary, that has become Herzog’s most recognizable hallmark. Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria, programmer for the 4+1 Festival, points out that, “in choosing Herzog as the Guest of Honor, the Festival wanted to pay tribute both to his ability to surprise, his steadfastness in refusing to follow fads and staying true to himself, and also to his unique understanding of cinema which seems to secretly link poetry, documentary and science fiction together.” In this sense, Gonzalo de Pedro Amatria, has emphasized that, “his films, strangely disturbing and elusive devices that they are, have always struggled with the canon of superficial truth, that innocent belief that emerged with North American Direct Cinema and, to a lesser extent, with French ‘cinéma vérité’, (two schools Herzog sees as one and the same thing) that it’s enough to simply film the world in order to reveal its mysteries.”
The retrospective the Festival will offer in all five countries where it is held of the German director’s work will include titles that are already considered contemporary classics, such as Nosferatu the Vampire (1978), which was part of the Official Section at the Berlin Film Festival; as well as other, lesser-known titles that are nevertheless equally representative of his peculiar approach to filmmaking. Along that line, the Festival’s venues in Madrid, Río and Bogotá will offer exclusive screenings of films such as Herakles (1962), La Soufrière (1977) -which won the German Film Academy’s Best Short Film Award- and The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (Die Grobe Ekstase des Bildschitzers Steiner, 1973). The selection also includes his most recent film, Into the Abyss (2011), winner of the British Film Institute’s Grierson Award.
Master Class: A Meeting with Werner Herzog
On Thursday, November 22nd, the filmmaker will offer a master class entitled A Meeting with Werner Herzog. This encounter will take place at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, the Festival’s venue in Rio de Janeiro and, as Herzog assures, it will make use of images, music and music videos in order to create, “a hectic session full of fantasies and excitement, a session saturated with life and ideas, films and enthusiasm,” in which he’ll go over his concepts of art, culture and film, evoking his experiences with such interesting characters as Klaus Kinski and Mick Jagger, commenting on some of his films and books and maybe even daring to show is first film, a recently re-discovered Western. A Meeting with Werner Herzog will be made available live on-line at our website.
RETROSPECTIVE. WERNER HERZOG *
HERAKLES (1962): Bogotá, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
THE UNPRECEDENTED DEFENCE OF THE FORTRESS DEUTSCHKREUTZ (Die beispiellose verteidigung der festung deutschkreutz) (1966): Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
THE GREAT ECSTASY OF WOODCARVER STEINER (Die große ekstase des bildschnitzers Steiner) (1973): Bogotá, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
LA SOUFRIÈRE (1977): Bogotá, Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (Nosferatu – phantom der nacht) (1978): Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.
LESSONS OF DARKNESS (Lektionen in finsternis) (1992) Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
ESCAPE FROM LAOS (1997) Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
MY BEST FIEND (Mein liebster feind) (1999): Madrid, Rio de Janeiro.
THE WILD BLUE YONDER (2005): Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro.
INTO THE ABYSS (2011): Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Madrid and Rio de Janeiro.
*Next to each title, we’ve indicated the venues where it will be screened
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