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Werner Herzog: Ecstatic Fictions

MUBI Special

Our epic Werner Herzog retrospective is back, continuing with the legendary director’s fiction films. From the deepest jungles to the American heartland, stay tuned for a new title each week from a true master.


Werner Herzog West Germany, 1982

expired 485 days ago

How else could we end our epic Herzog series except here, on Klaus Kinski’s ultimate ecstasy? One of cinema’s most insane undertakings—the crew literally had to drag a steamboat up a mountain—Herzog’s crowning masterwork is a sweeping ode to mankind’s quest to leave a footprint on an infinite world.

Heart of Glass

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1976

expired 491 days ago

Of all the (many) crazy ways Werner Herzog has made his films, this must be one of the strangest: for this story of madness and prophecy, made at his peak, he had almost all the cast act while under hypnosis. The result: bizarre, appropriately trance-like cinema that could be no one’s but his.


Werner Herzog West Germany, 1977

expired 505 days ago

Reuniting with his Kaspar Hauser star Bruno S., Herzog shot on the fly what became one of his most beloved, masterful Ecstatic Fictions: a warped quest for survival in the land of the free, darkly comical, soulfully tragic, and capped with an unforgettably maniacal finale.


Werner Herzog West Germany, 1979

expired 512 days ago

Shot fast on the heels of Nosferatu, using the same crew, star, and location, Woyzeck is a tight Herzogian psychodrama of civilized insanity and murder most foul. Filmed largely in long takes, it showcases possibly Kinski’s best performance: subtle, human, and ready to explode.

Nosferatu the Vampyre

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1979

expired 518 days ago

Our epic Herzog series enters its last round! Revisiting F.W. Murnau’s classic, Herzog made a unique, elemental take on Dracula: a haunting vision of life, death, and superstition, aglow with color and finding pity for Kinski’s deathless wraith. With Isabelle Adjani, the carnal queen of Euro-horror.

Cobra Verde

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1987

expired 576 days ago

Part one of our series of Werner Herzog features closes on his fifth and final collaboration with Klaus Kinski. A historical epic filtered through Herzog’s inimitable gaze, Cobra Verde bursts with remarkable sights and sounds, for a portrait of savage human nature that lingers long after the end.

Where the Green Ants Dream

Werner Herzog Australia, 1984

expired 583 days ago

Our Herzog series digs deep. This hidden nugget from his globetrotting filmography—his first feature in English, based on a real-life case and shot Down Under—is a deceptively simple courtroom drama laced with complex ideas, as universal human absurdity faces off against the cosmic.

Even Dwarfs Started Small

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1970

expired 590 days ago

“You might as well confess—we already know.” One of Herzog’s earliest films, released when he was just 27, this trippy nightmare shows how much his sensibility had formed: an obsessive skewering of megalomania; a unique eye for otherworldly locations; and a dollop of absurd, grotesque humor.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1974

expired 596 days ago

Aguirre may be more famous, but many Herzogians hold up Kaspar Hauser as their favorite. Starring Bruno S., a wayward Berlin street musician recruited for the role, the film is quintessential Herzog: a beautiful, tartly comic look at mankind dropped into a large, confusing, wondrous world.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Werner Herzog West Germany, 1972

expired 602 days ago

More Werner Herzog! Our retrospective moves beyond Herzog’s documentaries to his Ecstatic Fictions. The most famous of his extreme visions, Aguirre is a haunting masterwork on human ambition, forged in harsh conditions and forever engraving the madness of star Klaus Kinski into the pantheon.

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