November 1, 1998

1998 Feature Documentary—IDA Awards: Dancemaker and Little Dieter Needs to Fly

The cover of Paul Taylor's 'Dancemaker.'


Executive Producer: Walter Scheuer, in association with The Four Oaks Foundation
Produced by Jerry Kupper
Director of Photography: Tom Hurwitz
Produced and Directed by Matthew Diamond
98 min.

Dancemaker is the tale of the extraordinary, peculiarly American phenomenon, the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Hailed as "the world's greatest living choreographer," Taylor's life is traced from solitary child to star dancer to master choreographer. Interviews with current and past members of the company offer glimpses of the pain, joy, obsession and love that motivate these artists. The film travels with Taylor and Company from rehearsal studio, to an embassy-sponsored tour of India, through a srike-threatened Broadway season, finally concentrating on Taylor's struggle to make a new dance that will be the centerpiece of his company's season.

MATTHEW DIAMOND has choreographed for many dance companies, including The Washington Ballet, Batsheva Dance Company and Bat-Dor Dance Company of Israel. As a director, he has won two Emmys®, the Director's Guild Award, and the Humanitas Award. He has directed television specials (The Balanchine Celebration) and series episodes (Golden Girls, Designing Women).

WALTER SCHEUER produced the 1979 Academy Award®-winning From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. Since then, he has produced such non-profit, feature-length documentaries as Fiddlefest (Small Wonders). Currently he is working on The Making of Turandot, a film about the Zhang Yimou production of the Pucccini opera, conducted by Zubin Mehta.

A Werner Herzog Filmproduktion, in association with Cafe Productions, for ZDF
A co-production with ZDF, ZDF Enterprises, BBC and ARTE
Executive Producer: Andre Singer
Producer: Lucki Stipetic
Cinematography by Peter Zeitlinger
Narrated and Directed by Werner Herzog
Distributed by ZDF Enterprises
73 min.

Dieter Dengler was always crazy about flying. Having emigrated to the U.S. in 1957, from Germany, he became a pilot for the U.S. Air Force. In 1966, his squadron was transferred to Vietnam, where his plane was shot down behind enemy lines. With other prisoners of war, he escaped. Werner Herzog has created a docudrama on Dengler's life, containing documentary and semi-documentary sequences. Instead of trying to capture the historical and political mood of America during these trying times, the film concentrates on Dengler's actual escape and his innermost thoughts about "back home" as he returns to "Nam."

WERNER HERZOG (real name: W.H. Stipetic) was born in Munich on September 5, 1942. He grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria and never saw any films, television or telephones as a child. He started travel ing on foot at the age of 14. He made his first phone call at the age of 17. During high school he worked the nightshift as a welder in a steel factory to produce his first films; he made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then, he has produced, written and directed more than forty films, published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas. Reviewing Little Dieter Needs to Fly in the Village Voice, J. Hoberman said "[Werner Herzog is] one of the greatest and most original of docu mentary filmmakers, a celluloid conquistador with an extreme and tragic sense of life."