Saturday, January 22, 2011

Lessons in Darkness (1992)

Werner Herzog went to Kuwait to see the fires that burned after the first Gulf War. Filming the unearthly sights he formulated a new way of seeing the events and put it together in such away that the film is a visit to an alien world.

Leave it to Werner Herzog to make a film that is about it's subject and isn't. To be certain the sights and sounds are of the Kuwaiti fires, however Herzog's narration make the film into something else. His comments both reflect on what we are seeing and turn it on it's head...and make them exactly right on target all over again.

This is a hypnotic film that I love to put on and fall into. I turn off the lights and go somewhere else. It's a film that messes with the mind and gets the grey cells going. Its amazing at how easy it is to convince ourselves that we are aliens.

This is a perfectly constructed film. Its a 50 minute head trip that runs just long enough that it never loses its grip on it's audience. I've seen most of the films that Werner Herzog has made, with the highest percentage being his documentaries. As much as I love Herzog's films I'll be the first to admit that sometimes he has things run on too long. Here that's not the case. This film starts where it should and ends the same way. Its perfect.

Currently out on DVD this is a great way to spend an hour. If you want a full evening I suggest a second Herzog film or another film that takes you on a head trip somewhere- perhaps tomorrows film.

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