Virgin with a Memory
This post takes it’s cue from my ipod shuffle’s algorithm.
I hear this song almost everyday on my drive to work lately. It’s burned into my speakers.
There’s a Destroyer song that goes, “Was it the Movie or the Making of Fitzcarraldo?”
Anyway, my answer to Dan Bejar’s question is:
With Werner, it really doesn’t matter.
The making of is always as good if not better.
My Best Fiend is a case in point.
The layers of preposterousness behind his scenes are as thick and wonderful and illuminating as the outrageousness being dragged through the camera.
Last Wednesday night I was coaxing myself into a state viewing Fata Morgana alone in the dark.
Some lessons learned from the prequel to 1992’s Lessons of Darkness: when in the Sahara, wear a straw hat and goggles, always hold a wild animal firmly by it’s throat and when you come upon an unsuspecting subject: shove your camera (dick-like) into their faces and make them recite from a stranger’s letters.
Is FM an asshole of a film? Prolly.
But I heart wernerherzog.
If nothing else for his big huge balls.
The enthralling thing about Werner is secreted somewhere between the brutally bad Vangelis-lite soundtracks, the “documentary” style and the elemental subjects he teases out them.
Most commonly this element is a madman’s delusions of grandeur.
It mesmerizes me that he can come off a reasonable, mild-mannered, shoe-eating humbleton but that the force which magnetizes his work is a pure, vicious drive against nature and it’s order.
Let’s just call it method directing:
When actor goes method it’s masochistic. He empties his body into a naggy sack of bones or beefs-out to a swollen bloat to fit a role.
But a Werner’s method directing: i.e. having tribesmen haul a ricketsome 19th century river-boat up from a river and through some woods using only a primitive pully-system of vine-ropes is..dubious. Especially when done with his quiet, sadistic glee.