Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Fata Morgana/Lessons of Darkness

Fata Morgana, 1971
Lessons of Darkness, 1992
In 1971, Werner Herzog sought out to make a science fiction film in the Sahara Desert which was later abandoned but resulting in a landscape documentary of the unforgiving, arid region known as Fata Morgana. Twenty Years later the maverick director visited the combustible fields of post Gulf War Kuwait for another similarly haunting apocalyptic documentation. Herzog has spoken of the cinema being devoid of memorable images and his films are known for being comprised of a bizarre array of them, but here these two similar documentaries contain only images and are devoid of narrative and anything else resembling traditional storytelling. Still, both are beautifully shot and even poetic, and, like many of his films, have a certain evocative, ethereal quality.