Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A few more (slightly drunken) thoughts on Stroszek

Maybe ‘The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call, New Orleans’ isn’t Herzog’s first American crime movie. Maybe ‘Stroszek’ is Herzog’s ‘Taxi Driver’. Bruno S.’s title character, a more or less blameless innocent denied even a cathartic last stand when he finally does pick up a gun, has a greater moral claim than Travis Bickle to the title “God’s lonely man”.

The driverless truck running in endless circles from ‘Even Dwarfs Started Small’ is replaced by a driverless truck that circles a few times before its engine catches fire. Whatever snuffed out the American dream has also presided at the death of anarchy.

There’s a fast-talking auctioneer in ‘Stroszek’. Herzog’s auctioneer documentary ‘How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck’ – juxtaposing the English language stuck on fast-forward with the statelier pace of the Amish lifestyle – was made the same year. The way auctioneers’ talk isn’t natural. They’re the dancing chickens of linguism.

Herzog’s snowy compositions of Berlin streets make me think of a Bob Dylan album cover and yet bring Lou Reed’s music to mind.

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