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THE WILD BLUE YONDER

Director: WERNER HERZOG

U.K.-U.S.A.-FRANCE-GERMANY • 2005 • COLOUR • DIGITAL VIDEO • 81 MIN


DESCRIBED IN ITS CREDITS AS ‘SCIENCE FICTION FANTASY’, WERNER HERZOG’S THE WILD BLUE YONDER STANDS AS ONE OF HIS BEST EFFORTS AT SMUDGING THE LINES BETWEEN DOCUMENTARY AND FICTION. ENTRANCING AND OFTEN FUNNY, THE FILM SPINS A TALL TALE ABOUT DEEP-SPACE VOYAGES TO AND FROM EARTH VIA A MIXTURE OF ORIGINAL MATERIAL, ARCHIVE CLIPS AND FOOTAGE SHOT IN SPACE BY ASTRONAUTS THEMSELVES.
Monologues delivered straight to camera by wild-eyed actor Brad Dourif inform us that he’s an alien from the outer reaches of Andromeda who came to earth with others of his kind many years ago to build a settlement. According to Dourif, he stayed on earth, got a job with the CIA and watched as the release of seemingly dangerous alien microbes from the Roswell incident prompted Earth’s leaders to send a manned probe into deep space to search for a new habitable planet. The film’s whimsical, experimental mix of fact and fiction amuses and delights, but it also reasserts one of Herzog’s favourite themes: the impersonal, irreducible otherness of nature. —Leslie Felperin.

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