In 1964, under the title “Rebellen in Amerika,” Werner Herzog wrote about the New American Cinema: “What makes the work of this group so significant has long ceased to be an experiment. It is the move towards the self-reflection of film on its inherent means… And here mere seeing no longer suffices: the films usually have a deeper, visionary referential radius” (Herzog, 1964, 57). Indeed, Noël Carroll has convincingly traced these lines of thought to Stan Brakhage's Metaphors of Vision, and, according to Carroll, Herzog's characteristic quest for a visionary expression for that which lies outside the experience of everyday consciousness and denotative language leads to a central paradox:

On the one hand, Herzog, and other celebrants of experience, seek to acknowledge the unexpressed or ineffable aspects of experience that have been filtered out and suppressed by routine forms of schematization, such as language. For them, there are more things in heaven and earth than are canvassed by our dictionaries. Most of us, I think, would assent to this. However, what the celebrants overlook is that by pointing to unacknowledged properties and feelings, they not only make them salient for others to experience, but they also make them available to language.

(Carroll, 1985, 39)