David Overby

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 202

Herzog has claimed that he wanted [Woyzeck] to look as primitive as the main character, but the film looks not so much simple and primitive as badly made. The images have an inexpensive flat quality, and the editing of the film often ruins what magic there is in the images. The murder sequence in which Woyzeck stabs his prostitute mistress is filmed in extreme slow motion and is hypnotic at first. Unfortunately Herzog rather pointlessly cuts away for a moment to a dance hall, and when he returns to the murder the emotions first engendered have melted away. Woyzeck suffers from the same problems as Nosferatu: lack of life, a lack of atmosphere and far too many rather pretentious speeches (one delivered straight into the camera) about death and eternity. There is by now little doubt that Herzog is a major talent, but after the last few films there would also seem to be little doubt that he has hit a dry period. It may well be that literary adaptations and "stars" get in the way of Herzog's unique vision. (p. 34)

Illustration of PDF document

Download Werner Herzog Study Guide

Subscribe Now

David Overby, "'Unclean, Unclean': A Report from Cannes," in Take One (copyright © 1979 by Unicorn Publishing Corp.), Vol. 7, No. 8, August, 1979, pp. 33-35, 42.∗

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial

Jan-Christopher Horak


Andrew Sarris