Posts Tagged ‘Werner Herzog’
As willfully weird as his B-movie-grade update on Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant was grotesquely overwrought, Werner Herzog’s My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done spins a matricidal true-crime yarn into an absurdist fable whose tropes and themes, like the motivations of its killer protagonist, remain obscure. Such was the consensus, anyway, when the film debuted in competition at Venice and then screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it met with a lukewarm, appropriately puzzled response. Oddly enough, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, a far inferior film in every respect (even if its outlandishly narcissistic, no-holds-barred performance by Nicolas Cage outshines Michael Shannon’s labile San Diego weirdo by several solar degrees of crazed charisma), came through the festival gauntlet anointed with critical laurels. But Herzog’s latest, an esoterically funny Cali-freak-out crime procedural executive produced by David Lynch, will likely not fare as well, despite the nod from Venice honcho Marco Mueller—except, perhaps, in the hindsight of career-retrospective curation.
During the filming of Fitzcarraldo (1982), Werner Herzog, who was 38 at the time, kept a journal of his day-to-day experiences of the Amazonian rainforest. In June, Ecco Press will publish these musings in a 360-page tome entitled Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo. Lucky for us, The Paris Review has published some tantalizing excerpts in their Spring 2009 issue that no fan of this director’s deranged epic—which involved lugging a rusted, 300-ton steamship over a steep mountain—will want to overlook. Herzog’s writing is literate, wry, and extraordinarily vivid, but these aren’t notes on a production so much as they are, in his own words, “inner landscapes, born of the delirium of the jungle.” Read the rest of this entry »