The Flight on the Edge of Humanity: The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner
Claudia Barolo

The film The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner (W. Herzog, 1974) shows different implications of the concept of power. One implication is the ability to exceed human limits, for example accomplishing feats never before seen. Another one is the refusal to adjust to stereotyped behavioural patterns which are imposed by a sclerotized power that determines a consequent affirmation of moral power. Finally, the ability, emphasized by the desire to fly, to dominate life from above through a comprehensive vision that exceeds and sees beyond the contingent. Such excess of power is equivalent to a departure from the human dimension; the consequence of this is to surrender oneself to an existential suspension (as shown by the formal solution of slow motion).



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