Thanks to his recent acting performances in The Mandalorian and Jack Reacher, Werner Herzog has become something of a cultural meme. His dour expression, dry narration, and nihilistic philosophy makes for great parody when applied to absurdity.
But it can’t be forgotten that Herzog is still a fascinating, distinct filmmaker. His latest documentary, Nomad, is a powerful tribute to writer Bruce Chatwin, whose work and approach to life Herzog admired.
I reviewed the movie for Asheville’s Mountain Xpress:
“‘Chatwin was a writer like no other,’ Herzog says. “He would craft mythical tales into voyages of the mind. In this respect, we found out we were kindred spirits. He as a writer, I as a filmmaker.’
“With his latest documentary, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, Herzog pays tribute to his fellow wandering soul. Rather than craft a biography of Chatwin, who died in 1989, at age 49, from complications related to AIDS, Herzog opts to show his deep admiration by going to the places that inspired the writer.”
The absolute last thing I should be doing right now is buying more books, a tendency that’s only gotten worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. But Herzog made me want to read Chatwin’s work and thanks to online used bookstores, I found two of his most well-known books — In Patagonia and The Songlines — at a low cost.
While I’m waiting for those to arrive, I’ll try to watch more Herzog documentaries.
Please read the full review at Mountain Xpress.