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How Much Wood Would A Woodchuck Chuck?

Germany, 1976 (MIFF 2001, Burden of Dreams – Werner Herzog)

Director: Werner Herzog

In one of his most well known documentaries Herzog contrasts the contestants in the 1976 Cattle Auctioning World Championships with the Amish community in which the event is held. The ironic connection here is the rampant capitalism of the auctioneers' trade when viewed alongside the simple, anti-materialism of the Amish. This being Werner Herzog though, things won't be so black and white .Foreshadowing the later Huie's Sermon, the director is fascinated with his observations of a new language emerging from the speed-yodeling that marks the auctioneers' efforts to outdo one another at the championship events.

Some of the competitors sound like a fired up Hitler played triple time, others have a curious barking style or seem to be speaking in tongues trying out for a Mel Brooks remake of The Exorcist. A slice of weird Americana observed with the sly humour only an outsider is capable of.

See also...

LENZ

Germany/Switzerland, 2006
With a sweeping grandeur and the elemental passion and curiosity we've come to associate with Werner Herzog, director Thomas Imbach's Lenz creates an unconventional portrait of a tortured visionary c… More »

WILD BLUE YONDER, THE

Germany, France, UK, 2005
“Astronauts lost in space, the secret Roswell object re-examined, an alien who tells us all about his home planet - the Wild Blue Yonder - where the atmosphere is composed of liquid helium and the … More »

RESCUE DAWN

USA, 2006
“Packs a wrenching emotional punch.” - Variety Rescue Dawn is Werner Herzog's second homage to German born, US Air Force pilot Dieter Dengler who was shot down during the Vietnam War and forced … More »

MISTER LONELY

UK/France/Ireland/USA, 2006
“I started dreaming about flying nuns falling out of airplanes and praying the whole way down and surviving. Then I started to fixate upon specific images and characters. One of them was the idea o… More »

ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD

USA, 2007
“Should render contrite all who say there is nothing left for movies to show us that we haven't seen before.” - Variety ... One thousand men and women live together in unbelievably close quarters… More »

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