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The Wild Blue Yonder

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars
Most of Werner Herzog’s lead characters could plausibly tell you ‘where I come from is the wild blue yonder’, but this one (played by Brad Dourif) means it literally. As on-screen narrator of this ‘science fiction fantasy’, Dourif offers a rueful, embittered and often very funny account of his species’ journey, a century or so back, from their dying planet in the Andromeda system to Earth, where their grand plans for the establishment of a new civilisation foundered. To his outrage, vented against a backdrop of dust roads and ruined trailer parks, humans began to make their own way to the stars, even aiming for the frozen wonders of his abandoned home planet…

Wild-eyed, straggly-haired and taking it all very personally, Dourif’s turn recalls the to-camera addresses of Timothy Treadwell, posthumous star of Herzog’s ‘Grizzly Man’. As in that film, the director makes substantial use here of found footage, illustrating the fantastical narrative with recontextualised archive material, some cheekily subverted but much of it – notably extended takes of space-station astronauts and antarctic scuba divers in their weirdly beautiful weightless environments – exploited for its sublime qualities, accentuated by a soundtrack of chanting and cello. A scientific context is offered by interviews with researchers expounding modes of intergalactic travel, but the real pleasures are in the organic beauty of deep spaces and the ambiguous position of the humans suspended in them.
Written by Ben Walters

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 15 June 2007
  • Duration:77 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Werner Herzog
  • Screenwriter:Werner Herzog
  • Cast:
    • Brad Dourif
    • Donald Williams
    • Ellen Baker
    • Franklin Chang-Diaz
    • Shannon Lucid
    • Michael McCulley
    • Roger Diehl
    • Ted Sweetser
    • Martin Lo
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