Werner Herzog (b. 1942) is perhaps the most famous living German filmmaker, but his films have never been read in the context of German cultural history. And while there is a surfeit of film reviews, interviews, and scholarly articles on Herzog and his work, there are very few books devoted to his films, and none addressing his entire career to date. Until now.
Forgotten Dreams offers not only an analytical study of Herzog's films but also a new reading of Romanticism's impact beyond the nineteenth century. It argues that his films re-envision and help us better understand a critical stream in Romanticism, and places the films in conversation with other filmmakers, authors, and philosophers in order to illuminate that critical stream. The result is a lively reconnection with Romantic themes and convictions that have been partly forgotten in the midst of Germany's postwar rejection of much of Romantic thought, yet are still operative in German culture today. The film analyses will interest scholars of film, German Studies, and Romanticism as well as a broader public interested in Herzog's films and contemporary German cultural debates. The book will also appeal to those interested in the ongoing renegotiation - by Western and other cultures - of relationships between reason and passion, civilization and wild nature, knowledge and belief.
Laurie Ruth Johnson is Professor of German, Comparative and World Literature, and Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer Ltd
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 624 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
[A] worthy addition to any interdisciplinary study of Herzog's films - and the influence of alternative German romanticism as well as formal romanticism on moviemaking . . . . [A]n impressive unravelling of Werner Herzog's valuable contribution to cinema through a viewpoint not previously attempted, shining a light on some intriguing cultural influences and their effects on this fascinating filmmaker. FILM IRELAND
Laurie Johnson's book expands Herzog criticism in important aspects. HANS-HELMUT-PRINZLER.DE
Johnson . . . offers a new perspective on the romanticism/Herzog connection. . . . Forgotten Dreams is an in-depth analysis of certain romantic tendencies and how one might read Herzog's films as visual and - to a lesser degree - aural representations of the same. [The book] is an engaging contribution to the philosophical and cultural history of German Romanticism . . . [and shows] how this movement may yield insights into film analysis and history. It is also a worthy resource for Herzog scholars for its discussion of his lesser-known films. Literary, cultural, and film scholars will find many valuable insights in Laurie Ruth Johnson's interdisciplinary study. MONATSHEFTE