Monday, October 26, 2009

How many times can Werner Herzog go crazy?

Who thought that Harvey Keitel's 1992 film Bad Lieutenant needed to have a completely unrelated sequel? Evidently, Werner Herzog does. It isn't surprising if you're familiar with the reputation of Herzog. This is the same man who once threatened to kill star Klaus Kinski and then threatened to kill himself on the set of Aguirre, The Wrath of God. He is an eccentric to the max, the kind of guy who always seems to be in middle of all kinds of chaos (including getting shot by a sniper with an air gun during an interview, seen here). So, all that said, it seems like an almost perfect decision that Herzog would direct the new film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

The film seems to possess an almost manic energy and a complete dismissal of reality. In the lead role, Nicholas Cage seems completely let loose, playing a cocaine-snorting cop who's seeing images of iguanas and making jokes toward drowning inmates. It feels like utter anarchy, and though there seems to be absolutely nothing of substance within the film, it seems incredibly intriguing. I'm actually considering paying money to see Herzog and Cage combine for a nihilistic experiment in sadism. Why? Because Herzog is at his best when he has gone crazy--and he's gone crazy quite a few times.

**In total fairness, Herzog has directed two documentaries this decade: Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World. Both are beautifully crafted and have a much more subdued feeling of "crazy".

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