Reviews

  • Jan 30, 2015

    Herzog himself called this one of his most important films (in Herzog on Herzog, 2003) and refused to be drawn into making any distinction between what the interviewer referred to as his documentaries and his fiction films. For Herzog, they were all just films - and as we know, his documentaries were always designed to get at "ecstatic truth" rather than what he disparagingly refers to as the "accountant's truth." So, as a director, Herzog is not afraid to stage scenes in his documentaries (based on reality perhaps or extending it in the direction he thinks it should go) and he is not afraid to bring reality into his fiction films (as when he uses indigenous people playing versions of themselves or chooses to really drag a steamboat over a mountain). The act of exploring, crossing, and transcending the blurry line between fiction and fact is what makes Herzog's films great. Clocking in at only 45 minutes, Herzog's look at ski-jumper (or ski-flier) Steiner, a world record holder, positions the athlete as another of the possibly insane dreamers that are often featured in his cinema. After all, who would risk life and limb simply for a few seconds free of gravity, ecstatic though they may be? With Popul Vuh's trance-inducing help, Herzog provides a few ecstatic moments for the viewer too, using high speed cameras to create incredible slow-mo passages of, yes, ski-flying. Steiner himself comes across in interview bits as reserved and a loner (save for a bizarre childhood friendship with a raven, possibly concocted by Herzog I would bet). Those who love Herzog will find many other choice moments, including his standard voiceover (in German this time) as well as the man himself on location with a handheld mic.

    Herzog himself called this one of his most important films (in Herzog on Herzog, 2003) and refused to be drawn into making any distinction between what the interviewer referred to as his documentaries and his fiction films. For Herzog, they were all just films - and as we know, his documentaries were always designed to get at "ecstatic truth" rather than what he disparagingly refers to as the "accountant's truth." So, as a director, Herzog is not afraid to stage scenes in his documentaries (based on reality perhaps or extending it in the direction he thinks it should go) and he is not afraid to bring reality into his fiction films (as when he uses indigenous people playing versions of themselves or chooses to really drag a steamboat over a mountain). The act of exploring, crossing, and transcending the blurry line between fiction and fact is what makes Herzog's films great. Clocking in at only 45 minutes, Herzog's look at ski-jumper (or ski-flier) Steiner, a world record holder, positions the athlete as another of the possibly insane dreamers that are often featured in his cinema. After all, who would risk life and limb simply for a few seconds free of gravity, ecstatic though they may be? With Popul Vuh's trance-inducing help, Herzog provides a few ecstatic moments for the viewer too, using high speed cameras to create incredible slow-mo passages of, yes, ski-flying. Steiner himself comes across in interview bits as reserved and a loner (save for a bizarre childhood friendship with a raven, possibly concocted by Herzog I would bet). Those who love Herzog will find many other choice moments, including his standard voiceover (in German this time) as well as the man himself on location with a handheld mic.

  • Sep 24, 2013

    This short documentary is a good sports genre-blending film that focuses on the role of the camera, slow-motion, the interviewer versus the documented, and filmmaking's relationship to ski-flying.

    This short documentary is a good sports genre-blending film that focuses on the role of the camera, slow-motion, the interviewer versus the documented, and filmmaking's relationship to ski-flying.

  • Jun 24, 2013

    Herzog gives us a good one this time around with some beautiful camera work and an awesome moustache. It reminded me of 'Senna' in some ways but without being so damn sad. This is just bite size but it tastes great - beautiful-looking film with some cool ideas too.

    Herzog gives us a good one this time around with some beautiful camera work and an awesome moustache. It reminded me of 'Senna' in some ways but without being so damn sad. This is just bite size but it tastes great - beautiful-looking film with some cool ideas too.

  • Mar 16, 2012

    Good early documentary by The Herz.

    Good early documentary by The Herz.

  • Nov 04, 2011

    This was so good. Excellently edited. I especially loved the music.

    This was so good. Excellently edited. I especially loved the music.

  • Mar 26, 2011

    Herzog's short film about the freedom and fear found in ski-jumping, as well as the pressure of what it's like to be far superior to everyone else at an activity.

    Herzog's short film about the freedom and fear found in ski-jumping, as well as the pressure of what it's like to be far superior to everyone else at an activity.

  • Feb 16, 2011

    i love these short herzog docs!

    i love these short herzog docs!

  • Feb 14, 2011

    A ski flying champion + Herzog. A documentary that can't go wrong.

    A ski flying champion + Herzog. A documentary that can't go wrong.

  • Feb 06, 2011

    Molt bo. Està ben fet perquè es nota que realment Herzog és molt fan de Steiner, un gran esquiador que fins i tot saltant des de més avall que els altres, guanyava. Un fenòmeno. 8/10

    Molt bo. Està ben fet perquè es nota que realment Herzog és molt fan de Steiner, un gran esquiador que fins i tot saltant des de més avall que els altres, guanyava. Un fenòmeno. 8/10

  • Dec 20, 2010

    Another pretty good Werner Herzog documentary from his early days. That guy has been all over the place subjectwise.

    Another pretty good Werner Herzog documentary from his early days. That guy has been all over the place subjectwise.