Ecstasy and Invention

On Werner Herzog’s “The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner” (1974)

man lifts off from a ski ramp, the embodiment of our ancestors’ dreams, flying without a machine. His technique is impeccable and beautiful; through the eye of the high-speed camera, he seems to be in perpetual flight, supported by the minimal, elevating music. The scene cuts to a workshop where we see the same…