Tag Archives: werner herzog

THE FUCKING GLOWING SCREEN OF NONSENSE



KENNETH CAPPELLO: What do you think of blog culture?

JASON DILL: That ain’t for me. To each his own. I still don’t like the fucking glowing screen of nonsense.
(From ‘SNEEZE’ #11)

Very little’s been impressive this week. From a personal point-of-view, videos of dogs doing the conga (led by a hound on a bike), Perec’s ‘Species of Spaces,’ whoever left the comment, “The Passion of the Davro” on YouTube in relation to the Bobby Davro faceplant, English Frank on SBTV, livestock auction chants, the prospect of a Caligula comic book, Grace and WAH! raising some substantial charity cash, the relative ease which which one could obtain an iPad2 online, the impending London Supreme store, Chris Law and Lisa having a a son, Andy Milonakis’s “Swag”: tattoo, Randy Shilts’s ‘And the Band Played On’ and Juicy J’s works have been the only things to liven up the last 168 hours. Oh, and that Jason Dill quote, because Jason is still the man.

Missing the Herzog talk in London was a personal failure though.

I’m sure I saw a picture of some dude with shorts, a side-parting and a toggled jacket staring wistfully at a lake as part of a new lookbook from somebody. It epitomized the mediocrity I’ve exposed myself to this week — everything seemed to lack crystal clarity and retread the same old shit. I hope the next generation doesn’t look to older generations for answers — I speak to younger, creative characters and feel significantly more motivated than I do ambling back from a grim, meandering “everything’s shit” session over a flat white. Age is no automatic conferrer of greater knowledge. You can be old as fuck and still be a toy. I hope young ‘uns ignore us burn-outs who get possessive because new generations haven’t studied some imaginary curriculum of sacred cows that suffered a bovine dementia outbreak years ago and ceased to be relevant.

But then there’s the Werner Herzogs (at 68 years old) and Yohji Yamamotos (at 67 years old) who are Teflon Dons in their respective fields through sheer creativity that defies solitary sentence definition.

As well as the Yohji exhibition at the V & A, the designer’s precision and thought process look like they’re being explored in the forthcoming documentary, ‘This Is My Dream.’ I like Yamamoto’s lack of pretense in Wim Wenders’s ‘Notebook on Cities and Clothes’ where there’s much discussion surrounding notions of individuality in a world laden with postmodernism – he simply creates. I liked the hookups with Wenders, Michael Nyman and Takeshi Kitano — while I never took note of his work in the underrated ‘Brother’ or ‘Zatoichi,’ he helps make ‘Dolls’ even more visually appealing. I didn’t care too much for the slimline adidas stuff or the Jean-Michel Jarre 1989 suits. Clothing to accompany bendy keyboards and laser harps was too much like Poindexter on the electric violin in the leopard waistcoat, but everyone could learn a lot from those the 1980s Yamamoto catalogues with the Nick Knight and Peter Lindbergh photoshoots. They’re still works of art and fortunately, they weren’t laden with images of wankers by water.

The Nick Knight/Peter Saville/Marc Ascoli chat that went online last week is worth your energy, but the stern, stark feel of it made me feel a little fidgity. Still, some excellent points are made regarding photography and art direction. I really liked the anecdote than ends with, “We source black staples.” I guess that’s the attitude that pushes you into bankruptcy — but what a beautiful attitude it is.







MORE DOCUMENTATION DONE WELL

This is belated blogging because of a certain Icelandic volcano ruining everyone’s fun. Last week’s nasty bit of anti-PR seemed to cause a little buzz, which is odd, because I wrote it in about 20 minutes and was too ashamed to mention it was up until the following day. Break your balls with something that offers more substance than just a mean-spirited outburst and you go balsa wood on the page views. Strange. Still, you’ve got to up something, and this entry is trying to minimise the rant factor, and because of jet lag constraints, it’ll be light on words too. For some, there’s a get out if inspiration never materializes – plunder another site’s lookbook jpegs? LIFE’s archive shots? An obvious movie poster homage?

For me, being a Criterion dickrider of some magnitude, any interesting Criterion DVD/Blu-ray on the way is fair game for this site. Especially when they’re working through Terry Zwigoff’s catalogue – elegant, beautifully executed, loving. enlightening looks at two subjects in the shape of 1985’s ‘Louie Bluie’ and 1995’s ‘Crumb’ – if you haven’t seen ‘Crumb’ then you’re a tool. And you’re 25% more of a dick if you grabbed the Supreme pieces but aren’t familiar with the often disturbing but absorbing portrayal of Robert Crumb’s deeply peculiar mid ’90s home life. Criterion are dropping remastered discs of both films this August. Were the 50 minutes of ‘Crumb’ out-takes on the last US Special Edition DVD release?

The release of ‘Louie Bluie’ is the best news though, with this film, with Zwigoff getting his Les Blank on and offering a study of artist, musician, poet and eccentric Howard Armstrong who passed away in 2003 at a decent age. It’s a brilliant film that’s been hard to get hold of up to now. It’s curious to see a film switch from tape-to-taped, bit torrented limbo to suddenly laying your hands of a smartly packaged digital outing for a documentary. This duo will be getting grabbed alongside the recent ‘Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight’ disc.

Also related and recommended, is the more recent PBS documentary on Armstrong, ‘Sweet Old Song’ – and seeing as we incurred Les Blank’s name, ‘Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe’ just because this is a pro Herzog zone – it isn’t the best of Blank’s work, but it does involve the boiling and eating of a shoe by a man who never fails to entertain. Check the video here.

www.criterion.com

2009 – A GOOD YEAR FOR HERZOG FANS

” Camisea, 15 April 1981…After hours of his incessant ranting and raving, I ate the last piece of chocolate I had been keeping hidden in my cabin. I ate it practically in Kinski’s face, which he was holding very close to mine as he screamed his lungs out. He was so dumbfounded by my act of self-indulgence that all of a sudden he fell silent.”

I’m in the midst of logging sneaker-related listings to sum up the year at time-of-writing, but truthfully, two of the highlights of 2009 arrived courtesy of Werner Herzog’s outsider fascination, oddly earnest treatment of a trashy screenplay and oft-overlooked skills with the pen when it comes to logging his surroundings and general frame of mind (check the Free Association reprint ‘Of Walking In Ice’ for a primer). Were it not such a clichéd prospect for one who so effortlessly sidesteps the norm, a daily herzogspot.com from the man himself would be e-gold. But you’ll never get that.

What we did get, other than a superior Q&A in Vice’s phenomenal film issue, one of the best issues of anything in a while, alongside the De La FRANK151 and a fine dinner conversation in the States recently regarding the perceived madness of kings Kinski and Herzog, was a publication of the director’s journals during the troubled production of ‘Fitzcarraldo’ and a sequel of sorts to Ferrera’s ‘The Bad Lieutenant.’ That’s more than enough for me.

Continue reading 2009 – A GOOD YEAR FOR HERZOG FANS

KINSKI-ISMS

Too busy with diminishing Macbook power for a long-arsed blog entry. But a recent dinner table conversation on Klaus Kinski, and the discovery that a US journalist, quite rightly, described him as having, “…an alarming face” there’s always time to gather Kinski quotes. The recent translation of  Herzog’s superb ‘FItzcarraldo’ memoirs, ‘Conquest Of The Useless’, as with ‘On Walking In Ice’, proves what a master of description he is, obsessed with his decaying, writhing environment. Kinski’s ‘Kinski Uncut’ (which desperately needs a reprint) proved Klaus to be a bilious style-master in the writing stakes, and a psychotic loverman to boot.

Continue reading KINSKI-ISMS