The Hyderabad Film Club is organising a 5-day retrospective of Werner Herzog films, from 5th to 10th June, at the Sarathi Studios in Ameerpet. Today, the third day, The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser will be screened at 6:30pm.
In 1828, a man was found standing in the town square of Nuremberg holding a letter to the local army captain in his hand. He was barely able to speak or even walk. Assumed to be an idiot, when given a pencil and a piece of paper, he wrote "Kaspar Hauser".
Over the next 5 years, attempts were made to teach him to fit into society. He learned to talk, and with the assistance of a professor, made an attempt at writing his own history.
Hauser's origins were never discovered, but he was rumored to be the illegitimate son of royalty. What is known is that he seems to have spent his early life up until the time he was found in the Nuremberg square, in a tiny cell, and had little human contact.
Nearly 150 years later, Werner Herzog took this true story and fashioned a strange film out of it. Like many European movies of the 1970s, it unfolds in its own time and fashion, seemingly without any narrative impetus in the accepted sense. It appears to be merely observational, documentary-like and lacking in viewpoint. But in fact, it is a film that makes some points about the social and linguistic reality which we accept as factual, and questions what it is about our lives that is socialised and what is natural.
Werner Herzog (born Werner Stipetic on September 5, 1942) is a critically and internationally acclaimed German film director, screenwriter, actor and opera director. He is often associated with the German New Wave movement (also called New German Cinema), along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders and others. His films often feature heroes with impossible dreams or people with unique talents in obscure fields.
Herzog's films have received considerable critical acclaim and achieved popularity on the arthouse circuit. They have also been the subject of controversy in regard to their themes and messages, especially the circumstances surrounding their creation. A notable example is Fitzcarraldo, in which the obsessiveness of the central character is mirrored by the director in the making of his film.
His treatment of subjects has been characterized as Wagnerian in its scope, as Fitzcarraldo and his later film Invincible (2001) are directly inspired by opera or operatic themes. He is proud of never using storyboards and often improvising large parts of the script, as he explains on the commentary track to Aguirre: The Wrath Of God.
Herzog and his films have won and been nominated for many awards over the years. Most notably, Herzog won the best director award for Fitzcarraldo at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. Grizzly Man, directed by Herzog, won the Alfred P Sloan Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
He was honored at the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival, receiving the 2006 Film Society Directing Award. Four of his films have been shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival throughout the years - Herdsmen Of The Sun in 1990, Bells From The Deep in 1993, Lessons Of Darkness in 1993, and Wild Blue Yonder in 2006.
The screenings are open only for members of HFC. Please contact Bh S S Prakash Reddy of the Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841/93910-20243 for further details.