Fata Morgana

Director: Werner Herzog
Year Released: 1971
Rating: 4.0

Austere masterpiece by Herzog about the mirages he saw in the Sahara as well as some strange formations in other little-known parts of the world; he shaped the footage he collected into a three part narrative, charting the 'progress' from Creation (objects descending from the sky, sensual hills of sand) to Paradise (strange people and children running around) to the Golden Age (which, perversely, is that two people - the madam of a brothel and a pimp, according to the director - playing awful music together). Demands your absolute and complete attention, but the steady stream of images is too fascinating and unsettling to turn away from - Herzog has referred to his film as "science fiction," and at times I was almost convinced I was watching a movie from another planet. I have no idea how long it took him to record this experimental wonder or where exactly these objects and people are actually located, but I'm not sure I even want to know.