Is there any other director like Werner Herzog?
Herzog can seamlessly switch gears from documentary film director to theatrical film director at whim. He’s amazing and outstanding at being both. His films have a distinctive style which sets him apart from anyone. When he chooses to film a documentary, he always chooses the most interesting and engrossing subjects. His film Grizzly Man , which explored the tragic life of grizzly bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, is one of my all-time favorite documentaries. His film My Best Fiend , which chronicled his complicated relationship with actor Klaus Kinski is also an amazing and outstanding film.
For his next documentary, Herzog has chosen to explore the issue of the death penalty. The title refers to looking into the abyss of the human soul. The subjects are explored in the way Herzog only can. The film looks at all the different perspectives, from the victims of the crimes, the cops and lawyers who handled the case and of course the prisoner’s, who must live with not only the guilt of their crimes, but the impending sentence of death which will eventually be carried out. I find it extremely ironic that Herzog is exploring this subject. Not that Herzog isn’t familiar with the themes of death, suffering and life, but that someone, like him, who has lived such a fascinating and full life is studying the lives of people who’s life is practically over. Exploring prisoner’s, who will be incarcerated for decades and will never really live a full life. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition.
It will be interesting to see how Herzog approaches the material. No doubt Herzog is sympathetic to all the different perspectives. I’m sure the film will reveal the grey area’s of human nature. Not surprisingly the film is earning rave reviews. I can’t wait to check it out.
Legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog (CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, GRIZZLY MAN) returns with INTO THE ABYSS: A TALE OF DEATH, A TALE OF LIFE, a riveting examination of a horrible crime which probes the human psyche to explore why people kill–and why the state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (who was scheduled to die eight days after his interview with Herzog), the filmmaker achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.