02/01/2017

The White Diamond - Patience And Silence For Truth

Quick Thoughts: The White Diamond

Followed by Herzog and crew, Graham Dorrington takes the helium balloon he invented and crafted from his lab in London to the rainforest canopies of Guyana.


I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times: I’m not a fan of documentaries. But, time and time again, Herzog has proved me the fool; one who seems to speak with a “stupid stupidity” from time to time. He has proved this with Grizzly Man, with Cave Of Forgotten Dreams, Burden Of Dreams, even with Lo and Behold - and he has done it once again. Drawn by mere impulse, I put on The White Diamond, knowing the inevitability of this, and of course I was instantly locked into the narrative. As the few masters of cinema can at a seeming whim, Herzog immediately conjures a tonal magic, an atmospheric veneer of utter and undeniable intrigue that never even begins to wane. It’s through his soothing, yet potentially unnerving, charisma the he both directs this picture and manages Dorrington’s dreams, nightmares, anxieties and essence. Herzog’s documentaries thus seem to be a portal into a performance; Herzog taking stage, the world and its absurd beauties being his platform and mic through which he may lull us into a unified and serene hive mindset of grace and, most certainly, levity. A hive mindset whereby we think as Herzog seems to; see the world as he does, as one filled with literal mad scientists who emanate romance, tragedy, naivety, wisdom and whimsy all at once and in a befuddling flux of idiosyncrasy. This effect seems to be the result of Herzog’s charisma effusing from the screen - and we see this, almost tangibly so, in his patience, his firmness and silence for his story. This allows characters to reveal themselves in an absurd and almost psychedelic manner. Furthermore, this patience and silence instils the utterly strange narrative arc with symbolism and a metaphorical kaleidoscope of subtext - and as if by accident or mere occurrence. In such, there is a tremendously natural sense of truth that exudes from this film and its subjects, beckoning a revelatory and confounding cacophony of distant emotion and thought in the viewer. But, whilst these thoughts are usually what we delve into on the blog, today, and with this film, I leave this to you.

So, if you haven’t already, go watch this film - if not to experience an astounding documentary, then to at least make sense of this loose digression.





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