Monday, January 22, 2007

The Wild Blue Yonder (movie review)

A cynical reading of this film is now that Werner Herzog is a demi-god, anything written and directed by him by definition gets shelf space at Hollywood Video, and rave reviews, at least from any knowing critic of the cinema (and don't all critics aspire to sound knowing?). "Like the Clooney vehicle remake of Solaris" I hear them crow.

A kinder reading is this boy from Bavaria gets to fulfill a lifelong dream of his boyhood and rub shoulders with astronauts (I love it where he calls them "overqualified" on the commentary track -- as if humans had any more "out there" job to offer).

A still kinder reading is that Herzog gently spoofs a bunch of art movie conventions (everyone expects a Nowhere America by now, some Bleep-like talking heads) going into a rare collection of documentary footage that most of us just wouldn't see otherwise, and that his cheap trix help knock us into a headspace where we sort of look, with fresh eyes, and realize we are in an episode of Alien World, and good alien worlds are very hard to find.