aguirre, alien documentary, brutal, crazy, creation myth, fata morgana, heart attack, in search of ecstatic truth, iu cinema, james paasche, jon favreau, klaus kinski, marty and elayne, Popul Vuh, swingers, werner herzog, wrath of god
Last night was the kickoff of the Indiana University Cinema’s Werner Herzog series In Search of Ecstatic Truth, which began with his documentary Fata Morgana, partly based on the Mayan/Guatemalan creation myth. This was a film that I had never seen before, and one thing you can certainly expect from Herzog’s early work is you never know what you are going to get. An introduction by IU Film and Media Studies PhD candidate James Paasche reveled that Herzog intended this film to be a “documentary” made by aliens of what they encountered here on Earth. If taken in that context, this film makes total sense. Outside of that, I could only ask myself – “What in the absolute hell have I just seen?” Trust me, this was par for the course at the near sellout crowd. Incredibly bizarre, brutal and yet thought provoking, Fata Morgana was a an experience I was very glad to have had in the theater. I wonder if Jon Favreau’s usage of Marty and Elayne in Swingers was a reference to the couple who performed in this film.
After catching Burden of Dreams two weeks ago coupled with tonight’s screening, I’m primed and ready for Monday night’s screening of Aguirre, Wrath of God – Herzog’s undisputed masterpiece. He will be in attendance to introduce that screening and I expect no shortage of crazy that night. It is a shame, for most than just this, that Klaus Kinski is no longer with us. If he were still alive, we might get to witness the two of them try to kill each other on stage. Damn you heart attack for robbing me of the possibility!