Monday, July 11, 2005

The wrath of Klaus

Last night’s entertainment was “Aguirre the Wrath of God”, a Werner Herzog flick from 1971. It’s about a subgroup of Pizarro’s mutinying (they are on a raft most of the time) during his explorations in South America. It’s also about the cruelty of nature and nature of cruelty, both of the jungle and of the men’s relations with each other. But more than anything, this is a movie about Klaus Kinski. Lurching around the set, bugging his eyes out, attacking the extras, you can’t watch anyone else while he’s around. And this is Klaus at seven, moderately restrained. To see Klaus at, oh, say fifteen watch Herzog’s “My Best Fiend” a documentary about his long and difficult relationship with Kinski. At one (only one??) point during the filming of “Aguirre,” Klaus attacked an extra with a real sword, which would have killed or seriously injured him had he not been wearing a helmet. It also contains scenes from Kinski’s “God Tour” that shows off-screen Klaus and on-screen Klaus are equal parts intense and insane. Makes me feel calm and collected by comparison.

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