Saturday, September 19, 2009

Aguirre, the Wrath of God

I have wanted to see Aguirre, the Wrath of God for probably twenty years or so. See, there was this book called Cult Movies by Danny Peary, and I always thought it would be nice to have seen all of them. And the first one on the list was Aguirre, the Wrath of God, which kind of intimidated me into abandoning my plan.

Now, jump forward to 2009. I want an excuse to watch My Best Fiend, which I am reliably informed is an amazing documentary in which Werner Herzog demonstrates just how crazy Klaus Kinski was. I could watch it with no preparation, but the only Herzog movie I can remember seeing is Grizzly Man, and I mostly think of that as "the movie where that guy gets eaten by a bear". So I figured it would make sense, this being a lazy Saturday and all, to watch Aguirre, the Wrath of God first, then a movie with a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage about the crazy dysfunctional relationship between Herzog and Kinski.

And it was, in fact, fun! Aguirre takes its time developing. There's a scene where you look at rushing water for about three minutes. And Kinski doesn't take center stage for quite a while. But when he does, man, that cat is crazy. This doomed river expedition is even more doomed than usual. They don't even really need the cannibal Indians. I'm sure they'd have died off just about as quickly left to their own devices.


DeeJay said...

I love WH films! My favorite is probably "Little Dieter needs to fly". I think he has a great documentary style and enjoyed "Encounters at the end of the world" last year, except for the over bearing (at times) score. If you want more Kinski, check out "Fitzcarldo". It feels like a feat just to watch, but some amazing moments.

Chris Rywalt said...

Of course you've heard Roger Ebert's transmission of Jack Lemmon's encounter with Kinski.