“The Cove”, an Oscar winning documentary about the dolphin killings in Japan is upsetting and uplifting. The set up and the images of the slaughter bring disgrace to our species - hence upset, to say it mildly. When we realize that the camera becomes an instrument of the fight and at the end turns into the redemption device - the power of the medium rings laud.
The climactic scene with the TV monitor is one of the most powerful and dramatic I have ever seen on screen. Elation and sadness walk side by side there. The hero moves forward. Because he has to.
The director, in an interview says that through this film media become “the weapons of mass construction.” That too, yet the final results are unclear and the tormented soul of the hero remains just such.
Will he redeem himself? Or better, will the world grant him the redemption, since he has done everything he could have to erase his earlier wrongdoings?
A master class with Werner Herzog
More from Werner Herzog, the guy who's not afraid to challenge seemingly obvious and commonly accepted :
He does his own slate - to be the last in between the actors and the crew. He bans cell phones, viewfinders and video village from his sets saying that looking at the monitor on the set is a major mistake. It gives false security.
He emphasizes the word “rhythm”. Rhythm is established in the shooting not in the editing. Esthetics must come from the moment. “Storyboards are instruments of cowards and book keepers”.
He claims not being interested in understanding himself nor exploring his inner boundaries. “That’s all new age bullshit.” “There is only a story.” “Be a storyteller and a professional - that’s all.”
Digital shooting pushes decisions into the future. That’s bad. Be present. Shoot fast and little, edit fast. “I try to edit with great urgency”. “Versions are diseases of a filmmaker.”