Monday, February 19, 2007

Werner Herzog at Columbia

I managed (somewhow) to get a seat for Werner Herzog's ultra-sneak preview of his new movie (it hasn't been screened anywhere until now and there isn't even a release date.) The packed crowd was told not to blog about it but I can at least say that someone should check and make sure the main actors (including Steve Zahn, who was great in this, and completely believable) are still alive and well. It looks like Herzog damned-near killed them making this movie!! You've never seen such skinny, scratched, tormented and dragged-about movie stars in your life. Anyhow, that's all I can really say, but Herzog was a fascinating presence, talking about the tribulations of movie making and his absolute confidence, which I envied. Asked if he ever doubted himself, he replied, "NO.'' I tried to get my class into this discussion because Herzog directed a documentary called 'Grizzly Man,' about a well-meaning preservationist with a Prince Valiant hairdo who gets eaten by one of the critters he's attempting to 'protect.' Herzog is obsessed with capturing authentic moments on film, which is why he once had the cast of an earlier movie drag an actual ship over a mountain, and, at one point, he reportedly hypnotized a film crew. In this movie, you see a lot of unsettling 'actual' stuff taking place but I don't want to spoil it so I'll just leave it at that.

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