Look, I’m just going to say it. I don’t get Werner Herzog. I don’t get Herzog like I don’t get Fellini, like I don’t get Warhol, like I don’t get Eraserhead. God knows I’ve tried. I’ve seen Fellini’s 8 1/2 one and one-half times. I walked out the first time. I didn’t get it, I had a headache, and I tried again the next night thinking that maybe I was in a bad place and I needed to open my mind to the artistry. And …. it didn’t work. I think Warhol was a hack. I’ve seen the movies he’s produced, I’ve been to his show at MoMA, and I’ve seen I Shot Andy Warhol. All I get from Warhol is a feeling that I’ve been duped by a bunch of Xeroxed silkscreen done by his acolytes and that he laughed all the way to the bank. Eraserhead … well, we all know Eraserhead is its own creature. Maybe it’s supposed to defy firm explanation. David Lynch himself has said that of all the literary explanations for Eraserhead, none of them are correct. Well, see, maybe that’s the problem. Maybe Lynch himself doesn’t even know. But I forgive Lynch for this because he gave me Twin Peaks.
But Herzog? Eh. I have tried. I’ve seen Even Dwarfs Started Small, Signs of Life, Aguirre, and Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Did I do wrong by going straight to the beginning, when Herzog hadn’t found his voice yet? But then why did I find Cave about as dreary as reading a stack of grocery lists found in the bottom of a purse at Goodwill? I mean, I’m sure it’s me. I don’t understand why people insist Fellini, Herzog, and even Kubrick, for effs sake, are these perfect, holy creatures of cinema. I was really hoping I’d enjoy Herzog because of my love of surreal German cinema, and when I realized that Herzog’s Nosferatu was essentially a love letter of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu, I was both intrigued and delighted. I loved the 1922 film and I also loved the 1990 movie Shadow of the Vampire. I felt certain that Herzog’s version would relieve my skepticism. And then I saw Klaus Kinski in those teeth and bat ears.
Klaus Kinski. God love him because I’m definitely not a fan. I’ve seen him in a few other things, and possibly the best thing he ever did was give the world Natassja Kinski. But as an actor I find him rather irritating. And in this movie, for whatever reason, those teeth he wears make be an irritating mouth-breather. Seriously. That mouth-breathing was front and center in every scene. So, instead of a sexy beast of a vampire, we end up with a doughy-faced, mouth breathing, tantrum throwing, alleged daughter raper of a vampire who has less appeal than Gollum from a community theatre production of The Hobbit:
So really, it’s quite disappointing. Unless you’re one of those types who worships the very ground a director like Herzog walks on. Me, he’s another one those people that my being raised in the South commands me to be polite about people I don’t particularly care for by saying certain phrases about him, like bless his heart or God love him.
God love him.
Not Kinski, though. He’s a creep.
So what was the KC knitting while watching this?
Yeah, probably not the best idea to knit something fiddly while watching a movie with subtitles. That shit should block out, right?