Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wild Blue Yonder (2005)

Werner Herzog's science fantasy about a trip to a far off planet. The plot concerns an alien played by Brad Dourif, who has come to this world from Andromeda when his world begins to die. He outlines the story of his time on earth and of our trip to his far off world.

Consisting of new footage by Herzog the film also contains a great deal of footage from a space shuttle mission as well as images from under the Antarctic ice (Herzog coming into possession of this footage lead to his making Encounters at the End of the World).

Its a strangely hypnotic film that's often a head trip as we are forced to look at our own world as something, somewhere than what it is. This is a heady mix of facts and fictions mixed with beautiful images set to some intriguing vocal and cello music (think Tibetan throat songs) . For much of the film the mix works as we begin to see believe that the aliens are here and that we sent a mission that went there.

The problem with the film is that there are long passages, particularly with the space shuttle stuff where its nothing but image and singing. It would be fine if there was a change of image but Herzog holds the images, say of an astronaut jogging, much too long. I don't why he felt the need to use all of the footage that was shot of some subjects. It will drive you to the point of slumber.

Which isn't to say the film is bad. Its not. The dialog, well monologue is very witty and contains some great quotes. It also presents a few facts, about distance and our ability to bridge it that is wickedly disheartening for people looking to jump in a ship one day and travel far away, while at the same time opening you up to the possibility of actually doing it.

Its a film that gets the mind going and opens you up to a great number of possibilities, which is the best thing I can say about any film.

Ultimately this is a movie that you will think about for a long time after you see it.

Currently out on DVD.

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