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Thread: Aguirre, The Wrath of God

  1. #1
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    Aguirre, The Wrath of God

    Herzog's Aguirre is one of my favorite films. I watched it again for the umpteenth time today, and I'm still hypnotized by it.

    Klaus Kinski seems possessed as Don L. Aguirre. He dominates the screen whenever he appears, and the best example of his powerful presence to me is the scene where he orders the old man with the bamboo flute to play "for the man".

    To see his descent into madness is to see one of the greatest actors ever transcend his part. You believe Kinski is right nuts!

    "I will marry my daughter. And we will build the purest dynasty"

    Shit this is great cinema.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #2
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    AGUIRRE,THE WRATH OF GOD like many Herzog films is about men of great ambition crushed by their environment. The dense Peruvian rain forest is palpably menacing, Aguirre's descent into madness(thanks Johann) is visible in Kinski's every gesture, another terrain worth exploring. The music by Popol Vuh is effectively used to hypnotic effect. Herzog says he held a gun to Kinski's head at one point during filming. I say Herzog deserves a Kubrick or Kurosawa-size fan base and AGUIRRE is his masterpiece.

  3. #3
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    I say Herzog deserves a Kubrick or Kurosawa-size fan base and AGUIRRE is his masterpiece.
    Herzog definitely deserves a serious fan base. He pulled off a remake of "Nosferatu"! If that doesn't give him the props, then Aguirre should. Or Fitzcarraldo, for that matter- he hauled a real riverboat over a damn mountain!
    Like Kinski said after being asked why he keeps working with Herzog when he hates his guts: "He is crazy. He is crazier than I am. That's why I work with him."

    Case in point: watch the short doc "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe"- yep, he lost a bet to Errol Morris, and he cooked one of his leather shoes (with onions, potatoes, etc.). He eats the whole thing- sole included?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #4
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    I recently saw "... eats his shoe" and FATA MORGANA at a museum. Then, I bought the masterful LESSONS OF DARKNESS/FATA double dvd. Herzog says something in the commentary that affected my reading of his films.

    "In my films you can sense a certain subtext of something religious. It dates back to an extremely and dramatic religious phase I had when I was 15. I converted to become a catholic against all odds and,in particular,against my entire family. They were militant atheists. It put enormous stress on me. I needed to have great inner strength to battle it through no matter what. Faith was more important than having the harmony in my family maintained. It is faith that moves mountains."

    It's interesting that Herzog's films have such an impact on me, one who at 15 moved away from catholicism, towards logic and reason.

  5. #5
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    When i asked Herzog on the net about his expectation, if any, of an after-life (my question prompted by his documentary on Buddhism, and remembering him saying that Kaspar Hauser's lack of spiritual sense disproved God's existence- or similar), he dismissively answered, how should he know? He also wasn't happy with the term "adventures" to describe his unusual life experiences. An outdated concept, apparently. Aguirre is certainly a mesmerising "adventure", though.

  6. #6
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    I'm impressed

    I'm impressed you actually communicated with a master director. Congrats. It doesn't surprise me that Herzog mentions God's "lack of existence" through K. Hauser. That reminds me of a quote from a man who supposedly has conversations with God:

    man- Show yourself to me.
    God- Why?
    man- So that I know you exist.
    God- I will not.
    man- Why?
    God- Because the mere fact you ask me to means you don't believe I exist.
    man- I want to believe you exist.
    God- I'll humour you. So what if I appear before you? How will you change your life as a result? I'm willing to bet you'll say it was your imagination, not me. I'm willing to bet you'll even say it was satan. Me appearing before you serves no purpose. I will not do it. Because I have done it. Infinitum- look around you.
    man- How do I know I'm talking to God right now and it's not my imagination?
    God- What would be the difference?
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

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