Sam Pawlett epawlett at uniserve.com
Sat Mar 20 22:54:16 PST 1999

> Herzog's _Aguirre: the Wrath of God_. In
> other words, cannibalism as a metaphor of capitalism and colonialism.
> Sounds good to me.

Herzog is one of my favorites too. Aguirre. Now there's a film. Leaving the theatre ofter seeing it for the first time, I felt like I was on acid. The opening scene in Aguirre is stunning. Herzog always stresses the incommensurability between the colonialists and the natives. No common language, no common culture, no common social norms ending up in violence, subjugation, farce or co-operation as in Fitzcarraldo and Kasper Hauser. Herzog investigates the situation when the natives are in the dominant more powerful position. The chauvinism, dogma, lack of sympathy or empathy and narrow mindedness of western culture forestalls any possiblity of coming to a mutual understanding with the natives or characters like Fitzcarraldo and Kasper Hauser. Herzog took a lot of heat from the left for his unflattering portrayal of the Sandinistas in their conflict with the Miskitos. His film on slavery is a predictably scathing look at the African-Brazil slave trade, showing it in its brutality, injustice and insanity.

On the downside, I think Herzog hammers home his theme "only the dreamers move mountains" a little bit too much.

> I might also mention here Pasolini's _Porcile [Pigsty]_ (in which Pierre
> Clementi plays a fine young cannibal who kills his father in the Middle
> Ages as well as a son of a fascist industrialist who allows himself to be
> devoured by pigs) as one of my favorite films.

Pasolini was great too, until the fascists got him. Ever seen Salo?

Sam Pawlett

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