Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Watch Werner Herzog’s latest film right now

The great director’s public information film on the dangers of texting while driving is available on YouTube

Tue, Aug 13, 2013, 22:32


We should, by now, have learnt to expect the unexpected from Herr Herzog. For half a century, this odd film-maker has been trawling his own class of fantastic nihilism about the world. To paraphrase John Peel on The Fall, he is always the same, always different. One minute he’s shooting a documentary on the death penalty; the next he’s directing Nicolas Cage in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call — New Orleans. Who could have foreseen his foray into hung-ho action territory with Rescue Dawn?

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Nothing he has done, however, is as unexpected as this 30-minute documentary, made for  AT&T, on the dangers of texting while driving. With respect, From one Second to the Next sounds like one of the joke films that Troy McClure narrates in The Simpsons. In fact, it turns out to be a very serious, very touching piece of work. “What AT&T proposed immediately clicked and connected inside of me,” Herzog said. “There’s a completely new culture out there. I’m not a participant of texting and driving—or texting at all—but I see there’s something going on in civilization which is coming with great vehemence at us.” That last phrase could hardly sound more Herzogian. Werner focusses on those injured with the same intensity he brings to all his documentary subjects.

Herzog now embarks on a drama telling the story of the great British adventurer Gertrude Bell. Naomi Watts is currently pencilled in for Bell and Robert Pattinson is rumoured to be playing T E Lawrence. Now, that sounds like a subject worthy of the great man’s attentions. All going well, we’ll see Queen of the Desert in 2015.