Three unusual and wholly enthralling documentary works from Werner Herzog's early career. The Great Ecstasy of the Sculptor Steiner (1975, 45 mins.) explores the ski-jumping exploits of a Swiss woodcarver determined to confront his fear of "flying" head-on. "Beautiful, moving and exhilarating" (Vincent Canby, The New York Times). Herzog travels to Pennsylvania in How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck? (1976, 45 mins.), his fascinating documentary on the world championships for cattle auctioneers. Enthralled with the beauty and insanity of the rapid-fire incantations, Herzog uses a nearby Amish community to compare and contrast ways of living. Finally, La Soufriere (1977, 30 mins) is Herzog's astounding flirtation with death-- a film shot in Guadeloupe in the moments before a volcano is set to erupt. "Provocative, contemplative and very beautiful" (Janet Maslin, The New York Times). In English and German with English subtitles.
Werner Herzog---Germany---1975-1977---120 mins.