Walking to Werner (2006)
Average Rating: 4.9/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 10
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Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7
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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 245
Inspired by world renowned film director Werner Herzog's 1974 trek from Germany to Paris to visit his dying mentor Lotte Eisner, first-time filmmaker Linas Phillips vows to walk from Seattle to Los Angeles in order to meet the man behind such acclaimed cinema classics as Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo. Mention the name Werner Herzog to any dedicated film fan and it instantly becomes obvious just what an effect the German director has had on the world of international cinema. Of
Apr 24, 2006 Wide
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[Subject] Phillips is a lot better at walking than talking, and his musings seem especially insipid intercut with audio clips of Herzog's sage observations.
The real interest in the film is not the journey or even Linas Phillips, but the people he meets on the way.
Even the most ardent Herzog admirer may want to hail this fledgling documentarian a cab and call it a day.
Phillips's trip begins as an attention-grabbing show of devotion but transforms into a many-sided experiment in empathy.
The high-strung antics of Linas Phillips, who films his hike from Seattle to Los Angeles to meet Werner Herzog, may strike some as a noble spiritual undertaking, but others will find it an exercise in indulgent self-absorption.
The documentary Walking to Werner is a deeply self-reflexive work, perpetually at risk of disappearing into its own iris.
By the end of Walking to Werner, we are no worse off but we are not much better either.
Despite the callow, self-absorbed aspects of Phillips' undertaking, there's something endearing about his determination to recreate -- and then some -- a 30-year-old gesture that looked nutty then and only looks nuttier now.
It's an impressive odyssey, but the film -- which alternates between Phillips' ceaseless ramblings and interviews with the predictably eccentric folks he meets on the road -- plays like a prolonged death march.
Phillips's singular determination is not unlike that of the artist he aspires to meet.
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