BAD BOY BUBBY (Rolf de Heer, 1993)

From Australia and Italy, Bad Boy Bubby revolves around 35-year-old “Bubby,” whose mental and emotional growth have been stunted by his mother’s having kept him imprisoned, in the dark, dank apartment they share, under threat of the “poisonous” air outside that would kill him. Meanwhile, Mother has made Bubby, whom she relentlessly abuses both physically […]

ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (Werner Herzog, 2007)

Not among his documentary beauties (such visionary works as Fata Morgana, 1969, Herdsmen of the Sun, 1988, and Bells from the Deep, 1993), German-born, now U.S.-based writer-director Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World, despite its grand title, is lame and lightheaded. Herzog was invited by the National Science Foundation to accompany its […]

BELLS FROM THE DEEP: FAITH AND SUPERSTITION IN RUSSIA (Werner Herzog, 1993)

Werner Herzog has made brilliant, beautiful documentaries (Fata Morgana, 1969; Land of Silence and Darkness, 1971; Herdsmen of the Sun, 1988), incompetent, worthless ones (Lessons of Darkness, 1992; The Wheel of Time, 2003), and ones of intermediate quality. Glocken aus der Tiefe—Glaube und Aberglaube in Rußland, from Germany and the U.S., belongs in the exalted […]