Thursday, July 20, 2006
Moira Shearer had an exquisite derrière. That's not why you should see The Red Shoes, of course, but I must note its aesthetic importance. Flea told me that she'd not updated her romance novel blog lately because she'd read a completely unbelievable scene about a man facing execution who thought longingly of his lover's ass just before his turn at the gallows. That would be the last thing a doomed man would think of, Flea said. I disagreed. I'd think of ass and nothing else in a similar situation.* What is a guy supposed to think about near death? His soul? Ha! The great mystery of existence? Hell, no. He's going to dream of luxurious ass, and yards of it.
But I digress. Pressbinder's dark fairy tale (no pun intended) is spectacular, and features the greatest dance sequences ever. Love of craft vs. true love: which will win out in the end? I shan't spoil it for you. Even its Anna Karenina finish couldn't ruin this lavish treat.
And, because I spent most of today ailing on the sofa, I also watched My Best Fiend, Werner Herzog's tender recollection of his professional relationship with Klaus Kinski, making a double-feature of films about monstrous artists driven to madness by their need to express something inexpressable. Herzog takes us to the apartment flat where he and Kinski met and tells funny stories about Krazy Klaus. Then he revisits Peru and shows footage of Kinski rampaging. We meet the native chief who offered to kill Kinski for Herzog (he declined the offer, a decision Werner regrets to this day). Herzog shows footage of himself during the filming of Fitzcarraldo, and he's discussing the jungle:
Everything is misery. The trees are in misery. The birds are in misery; I don't think they sing at all. Rather, they shriek in awful horror at their suffering. Everything is growing and eating and fornicating in a giant chaotic cycle of death. And yet I don't want to leave the impression that I hate the jungle. I love it.
*I think of ass in most situations.