Werner Herzog: Lessons of Darkness
Screening Dates
  • September 18, 2021 8:45
  • September 19, 2021 8:30
  • September 22, 2021 6:00
  • September 25, 2021 6:00
New Restoration

It’s terrifically, spontaneously funny and, just as spontaneously, full of unexpected pathos.”

Vincent Canby, New York Times

Werner Herzog turned a jaundiced eye on the United States—“the most exotic country in the world,” according to the director—in Stroszek, his second film (after The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser) to feature the strange, singular screen presence of non-professional actor Bruno S. Subtitled A Ballad,” Herzog’s bitterly ironic, highly comic road movie chronicles the misadventures of three Berlin misfits—an ex-con (Bruno S.), a sex worker (Eva Mattes), and their elderly neighbour (Clemens Scheitz)—who set out for the Promised Land of America. What they discover is the grim reality of Railroad Flats, Wisconsin, where an American Dream of mobile homes, colour TVs, and junk food quickly turns sour. The evocative, metaphysical use of landscape for which Herzog’s films are noted is very much in evidence. Vancouver gets name-checked, and a dancing chicken makes an unforgettable appearance. Essential Herzog. 

Restoration courtesy of Shout! Factory and the American Genre Film Archive

One of the oddest films ever made. It is impossible for the audience to anticipate a single shot or development … Who else but Herzog would make [this] film?”

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Poignant and fierce …Herzog’s vision rises to a hectic pitch of absurdist tragedy.”

Richard Brody, The New Yorker