Fourth viewing, and I'm increasingly confident in calling this an all-timer. Herzog deconstructs the form and the troubling history of the cinematic documentary before our very eyes, all while delivering a mesmerising, gorgeously otherworldly documentary in its own right. The comedy of human folly and the delusions of European humanism wrapped up in an engrossing, deeply moving tale of scientific obsession, friendship, grief, folklore, sublime nature, and postcolonial ethnography. "I cannot hear what you are saying for the thunder that you are."
"There's shit to do" – "Always"
It's the below-the-line professionals whose names we never bother to learn who are responsible for the iconic images that delight, frighten, and inspire us – and they are caught up, like we all are, in an industry and a culture where spectacle is the currency, no matter the human (or animal) cost.
Like Get Out and Us, Nope soars upon rewatching. Truly one of the best recent Hollywood reflections on the act of looking.
Locarno Film Festival 2021 #13
Producer, touring the set: "I must say, Monsieur Mandico, I'm impressed. You seem to have gathered the best team of set and costume designers, makeup artists, lighting technicians, and composers money can buy. This movie will look and sound like a masterpiece. Do you have a script to match this artistry?"
Bertrand Mandico, scribbling stick figures onto a commemorative Kate Bush napkin: "A what?"
Locarno Film Festival 2021 #9
I'm writing this review as I'm getting ready for round two. First impression: just a blast – funny, irreverent, gloriously cool, impeccably choreographed fights, narratively all over the place in a way that makes it hard to tell whether that's a deliberate homage to 1970s genre cinema, or whether it's just a flawed script. Seek this out if you have the chance.