Down the road, I have a more substantial piece about Werner Herzog in mind (as I come ever closer to finishing his just-released book, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo), but I couldn’t resist calling attention to the fact that the man who directed the legendary Klaus Kinski in such outsized masterworks of cinematic madness such as Aguirre: The Wrath of God, Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht, Woyzeck, Cobra Verde, and the aforementioned Fitzcarraldo—appears to be on a wild hunt to recapture the experience of wrangling demented greatness from his most noted thespian muse.
How else can one explain the connections he’s making with some of the most intensely…let’s say “dedicated”…actors of our age? Herzog’s gone from Christian Bale—ever eager to aggressively mold his physique to the demands of a role:
–to Nicolas Cage, who, in his “Leaving Las Vegas” days, was often considered a potential heir to none less than Brando, here seen in Herzog’s upcoming redux/reimagining/re-what-the-hell-IS-it of Abel Ferrara’s “Bad Lieutenant”:
–to Michael Shannon, who gained some explosive currency onscreen after re-creating a stage role he originated of immensely entertaining lunacy, in William Friedkin’s 2006 film Bug (trailer, seen here):
With Shannon, Herzog has teamed up with producer David Lynch (!) for My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done, a film that is high on the must-see list for fans of impossible-to-classify cinema. Who else is with me when I say…I can’t wait: