Here's something to do before the end of the month:
this book and watch "Fitzcarraldo,"
Wrath of God," the Herzog documentary about Klaus Kinski called "My
Best Fiend," and the Les Blank documentary about the making of "Fitzcarraldo"
Burden of Dreams."
A highly recommended crash course in Herzogian ecstatic
truth . . .
At one point, a diary entry begins with a hilarious understatment, something
like "Profoundly unreconciled to nature."
But the writing is so natural and the descriptions of the jungle and
mountains and fog and insects and, well, nature in general are profoundly
Like all Herzog documentaries,
you also have to sort of treat it like fiction.
who was in the film early on, is portrayed as pleasantly impish.
NYT Book Review review was idiotic, wishing for more logistic/technical
information about certain shots, or Coppola's role etc. The reviewer wanted
characters who appeared once to be introduced and appear again, as in a
novel or non-fiction, not a journal -- he wanted a non-Herzogian non-fiction,
But this thing reeks of Herzog everywhere as he charts the athletic/spiritual
endurance required of pulling off an ambition like this, and also the singular
sort of obsessed perspective that allows it to happen in the first place.
Also, it's real funny. Dozens of LOLs, often at audacious, over-the-top
descriptions, or sudden crazy jumps from sentence to sentence.
"Seen from the plane, the sheer expanse of the jungle is terrifying;
no one who has not been there can picture it. We do not need virtuosos
And yet on every page Werner proves himself a virtuoso of seeing and
describing what he's seen. This book is almost more about language than
any particular film. Herzog's sentences seem to me sharper and funnier
and more peculiarly individuated than those of most contemporary prose
Plus, this book seems to prove that what's inside the artist comes outside
Hope he has a journal like this for Stroszek,
too - another highly recommended movie (if you're a Joy
Division fan you probably know this as the movie Ian Curtis watched
before he hanged himself).