Over the last two days I saw Grizzly Man and Encounters at the End of the World, both documentaries by Werner Herzog. Herzog's view is so uncompromising, so grand, and so idiosyncratic, that it simultaneously shows you something new, and something old in a new light. I can't remember the last time I've been excited about film as an art form.
In the last month, that bolt of inspiration has hit three times. First with Kurt Vonnegut, whose playfulness and sense of humour inform the realism-by-way-of-science-fiction genre he invented. Then with Henning Mankell, who has fused the mystery novel with the themes of loneliness, abandonment and despair that run through the work of his father-in-law Ingmar Bergman. And now with Herzog, who possesses a boundless curiosity and a determination to get something new into and out of film.
In school I study Freud and Lacan under the watchful eye of Marxists with tenure. But on my own I get to the real shit that people who view the world as correctable can't deal with. I live for finding artists like Vonnegut, Mankell and Herzog. And guess how likely any of them will show up on a syllabus any time soon?
On an unrelated note, Dan downloaded the new Wolverine movie. I have taken bowel movements with better character development. However, seeing Liev Schrieber, a brilliant Shakespearean actor, eviscerate the dink from the Black Eyed Peas was somewhat gratifying.