Posts Tagged ‘Werner Herzog’


Saturday, July 25th, 2015

It’s a wondrous time of year for intensive knowledge gathering and world-illuminating mind expansion – the New Zealand International Film Festival is in town!

Once again there are too many great looking films for most of us to catch them all, but to help narrow down the list here are the initial recommendations of one keen documentary enthusiast: (& they’re selling out so it may pay to >>book quick!<<)


This is the companion film to ‘The Act of Killing’ and rounds out a pair of truly world-changing documentaries of the highest artistic calibre and political potency. They relate to the anti-communist ‘purge’ in Indonesia in the 60s which killed upwards of 500,000 people and whose perpetrators remain in power today.

This is a must see, including Q&A with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer, who can also be heard discussing the films in this recent RNZ interview:


“This impressive doco disperses the fog of shame and sensationalism to shed light on the tragedy that made international headlines in 2007 when a young Wainuiomata woman died during a mākutu lifting.” >MORE INFO<


“A Ukrainian victim of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster discovers a dark secret and must decide whether to risk his life by revealing it, amid growing clouds of revolution and war.” > MORE INFO <


“There’s an enlightening and moving portrait of Tūhoe activist, artist and kaumātua Tame Iti at the heart of Kim Webby’s film about the trial of the ‘Urewera Four’ and its aftermath. She outlines the perils of surveillance in her account of the trial, in which Iti and three others were accused of plotting terrorist activities” > MORE INFO <



“A sports doc for people who don’t give a damn about sports” – and produced by Werner Herzog, so you know it’s good. > MORE INFO <



Scientology exposed! This is gold. > MORE INFO <


“A gripping, nuanced look at two different responses to the ongoing violence and death strewn by the vicious drug cartels plaguing both sides of the Mexican/American border” – Tim Grierson, Paste > MORE INFO <

A recent interview with the director, Matthew Heineman:

This list will grow…


Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

We are pleased to say our 48 Hour film is now online after winning the ‘Incredibly Strange’ award at the Wellington finals and being nominated for ‘Sexiest Looking Short’. Perhaps you can see why…

Speaking of film, I’ve been gradually trying to make my way through Werner Herzog’s filmography, and the more I see, the more I come to the conclusion that he is the coolest guy alive! The following interview may be two hours long but it’s thoroughly entertaining and illuminating of the mad genius:

If that’s too long and you’d just like a little Herzog taste, check out his unique description of the jungle from the making of ‘Fitzcarraldo’ – ‘the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder’.

Wellington’s fantastical artist Georgette Brown is having another exhibition in a couple of weeks!

In other news – new releases from i.ryoko and Seth Frightening coming soon!!!


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

More Film Festival recommendations:

The Act of Killing
directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
This is perhaps the most affecting documentary I have ever seen.

“Anwar Congo and his friends have been dancing their way through musical numbers, twisting arms in film noir gangster scenes, and galloping across prairies as yodelling cowboys. Their foray into filmmaking is being celebrated in the media and debated on television, even though Anwar Congo and his friends are mass murderers.

When the government of Indonesia was overthrown by the military in 1965, Anwar and his friends were promoted from small-time gangsters who sold movie theatre tickets on the black market to death squad leaders. They helped the army kill more than one million alleged communists, ethnic Chinese, and intellectuals in less than a year. As the executioner for the most notorious death squad in his city, Anwar himself killed hundreds of people with his own hands.

Today, Anwar is revered as a founding father of a right-wing paramilitary organization that grew out of the death squads. The organization is so powerful that its leaders include government ministers, and they are happy to boast about everything from corruption and election rigging to acts of genocide.

The Act of Killing is about killers who have won, and the sort of society they have built. Unlike ageing Nazis or Rwandan génocidaires, Anwar and his friends have not been forced by history to admit they participated in crimes against humanity. Instead, they have written their own triumphant history, becoming role models for millions of young paramilitaries. The Act of Killing is a journey into the memories and imaginations of the perpetrators, offering insight into the minds of mass killers. And The Act of Killing is a nightmarish vision of a frighteningly banal culture of impunity in which killers can joke about crimes against humanity on television chat shows, and celebrate moral disaster with the ease and grace of a soft shoe dance number.”

The director, Joshua Oppenheimer has called the result “a documentary of the imagination… the film is essentially not about what happened in 1965, but rather about a regime in which genocide has, paradoxically, been effaced [yet] celebrated – in order to keep the survivors terrified, the public brainwashed, and the perpetrators able to live with themselves…. It never pretends to be an exhaustive account of the events of 1965. It seeks to understand the impact of the killing and terror today, on individuals and institutions.”

As the great Werner Herzog puts it, “powerful, surreal and frightening… unprecedented in the history of cinema.”

Written interviews with the director, Joshua Oppenheimer:
‘How Murderers Tell Stories’ – The Verge
An Interview – Inside Indonesia

A video interview with the producers, Werner Herzog & Errol Morris


Antarctica: A Year on Ice directed by Anthony Powell
This is a beautifully shot documentary about what it is like to spend a full year living and working in Antarctica. Made by Anthony Powell, a time-lapse photographer and Satellite Communications Tech, the film was 10 years in the making and presents a real insider’s view from someone who has spent 8 full winters of total darkness in the most isolated place on the planet.