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Ferocious RealityDocumentary according to Werner Herzog$
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Eric Ames

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780816677634

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816677634.001.0001

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Baroque Visions

Baroque Visions

(p.105) 4 Baroque Visions
Ferocious Reality

Eric Ames

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter locates Herzog’s documentaries vis-à-vis the transatlantic revival of the baroque in twentieth-century culture. It argues that the baroque, which is characterized in aesthetic terms by hyperstylization, offers both an interpretive key to Herzog’s vision of documentary cinema and an important context for his contribution to it. From The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (1974) to Death for Five Voices (1995) to God and the Burdened (2000), Herzog’s documentaries involve various manifestations of the baroque, past and present, sacred and secular, in Europe as well as in Latin America. Understood as a transatlantic topos, the baroque gives new meaning to Herzog’s movement as a traveling director and its relationship to his documentaries in particular.

Keywords:   Werner Herzog, baroque, documentaries, documentary films, hyperstylization, The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, Death for Five Voices, God and the Burdened

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