This paper investigates the deep relationship between the films of German filmmaker Werner Herzog and the conceptual category of the impossible, especially the cinematic representation of something which can be defined as “unrepresentable”. The analysis focuses on the stylistic modes that contributed to making Herzog’s cinema recognizable, with attention to the following interrelated items: the cinematographic technique of the “ecstatic truth” (Prager, 2007); the conceptualization of the gaze and the vision within the filmic text through stories and settings linked to the motifs of the challenge and the titanic enterprise (Grosoli and Reiter, 2000; 2016). Thanks to the formal analysis of a corpus of fiction and documentary films, this paper tries to define funambulism and science in Herzog's filmography as instruments which convey on screen and in the viewer’s gaze stories, environments and landscapes that are poetically linked to the motif of the impossible
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