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Of Gods and Grizzlies: The Non-Aesthetic Nature and the new Kinship of Werner Herzog and Caspar David Friedrich

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dc.contributor.advisor Pavsek, Christopher Blumenthal, Karl-Rainer 2007-06-01T17:43:28Z 2007-06-01T17:43:28Z 2006
dc.description.abstract Grizzly Man (2004), the latest documentary feature from Werner Herzog, re-energizes an old argument surrounding the influence of German Romanticist painting on the filmmaker's aesthetic vision. In the 1970s, Herzog garnered attention with films set against German Enlightenment-era backgrounds (The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser - 1974, Heart of Glass - 1976, Nosferatu - 1979). Critics seized upon compositional similarities between their landscape scenes in particular, and those of Dresden painter Caspar David Friedrich. In spite of the visual connection, Herzog denied that his visions were mediated through the influence of Romanticism. It is my assertion that there is an artistic kinship between Herzog and Friedrich that can be read in the figures that each positions in nature scenes, hoping to represent basic human truths by way of their struggles. Herzog, unlike the main character of Grizzly Man and Friedrich both, does not sentimentalize nature. There is no spirituality that speaks to him from the wild. However, the pursuit of ecstatic truth in men's inner turmoil mirrors Friedrich's explicitly religious motivations. Both artists follow men who enter nature, seek enlightenment, and come away instead with confusion and/or death. This pre-occupation with the precise source of man's quest in nature joins Werner Herzog and Caspar David Friedrich in a way that the critics of 1970s had not anticipated.
dc.description.sponsorship Bryn Mawr College. Dept. of History of Art en
dc.format.extent 417183 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject.lcsh Herzog, Werner, 1942- -- Criticism and interpretation
dc.subject.lcsh Friedrich, Caspar David, 1774-1840 -- Influence
dc.title Of Gods and Grizzlies: The Non-Aesthetic Nature and the new Kinship of Werner Herzog and Caspar David Friedrich en
dc.type Thesis (B.A.) en

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