Saturday, December 08, 2007
One watches with alarm Klaus Kinski's portrayal of Franz Woyzeck. At several points of the film I found myself certain that Kinski was a dangerously sick man. How much "acting" was he really doing?
Herzog films it like a stage play, with a completely stationary camera and limited cutting. The actors therefore have to play to the camera a bit as they move, the way one moves consciously with a live audience to ensure the face is presented to as many spectators as possible, etc. This approach works well, and recalls early silent film and the exagerated physicality of characters' (actors') emotings (back of the hand to the forward swoon, clutching the sides of the face in fear, darting eyes of the scheming villain).
Herzog's film is entirely without music, so after watching it you can listen to Alban Berg.
Few directors can pull of a film that is at once deeply disturbing and funny. Herzog often does so, and at times with Kinski's assistance.