Jay Cocks

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 173

[Every Man for Himself and God Against All] is a casebook of insensitivity. Every character is vigorously and grossly caricatured. The short supply of ideas is presented with all the insight of a caption in Ripley's Believe It or Not!

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Herzog … is a sort of social anthropologist manqué who has been prominent in the perennially fizzling resurgence of the West German cinema. It has been suggested that in Every Man Herzog is struggling to create a new metaphor for the state of modern Germany. This is one of those facile, coverall apologies, like saying an Italian film is a thinly disguised attack on the Roman Catholic Church, or a novel about contemporary Ireland reflects the agonies of civil war. It cannot save the movie from indistinction….

Herzog's previous work … includes a film entirely populated by dwarfs. These works were also defended as metaphors for modern Germany. Some fresh excuses are needed.

Jay Cocks, "Grave New World," in Time (reprinted by permission from Time, The Weekly Newsmagazine; copyright Time Inc. 1975), Vol. 106, No. 18, November 3, 1975, p. 74.

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