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Fata Morgana

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on April 3, 2012 at 11:40 PM



FATA MORGANA   **

Werner Herzog

1971



IDEA:  An abstract series of long panning shots over the Sahara desert is accompanied by mythological narration and music.


BLURB:  Fascinating if only because it is so bizarrely, entrancingly soporific, enjoyable (if you could even call it that) only because its few Leonard Cohen songs add an elegiac tangibility to Herzog’s wasteland milieu, Fata Morgana is an eccentric bit of Dadaist filmmaking that feels at once completely useless and weirdly addictive. Cameras pan tirelessly and endlessly over vast barren landscapes, peering out of a car as if you were a part of the most awfully uneventful road trip ever, observing abandoned storage units, animal carcasses, and occasionally roving African locals. The images are strung together tenuously, united by arcane pieces of a creation myth and other motifs, notably horizons obscured by the nebulous haze of the title. The whole thing would be a curiosity, but that would suggest it’s interesting enough to warrant our inquisition.

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About the Author


Jonathan Leithold-Patt is a cinephile, film critic, and artist.

Contact at cinematiclife@yahoo.com.

Devoted to the Movies