REIGN OF HORROR
GOETHE INSTITUT SCHWEDEN presents 13 Selected Films of WERNER HERZOG in cooperation with Föreningen Film i Malmö.
Entrance to all films is FREE and open to the public (minimum age 15). No membership is required.
WELCOME! We are very proud to offer this rare opportunity to see the works of Werner Herzog, a true master filmmaker, on the big screen!
26/7 FRIDAY 19:30 (1990, 87min, french, german, english with english subtitles)
follows journalist Michael Goldsmith, who was imprisoned and tortured by mad dictator Jean Bedel Bokassa of Central Africa, as he tries to make sense of his experiences from the perspective of more than a decade. Goldsmith interviews Bokassa’s wives (he is estimated to have had as many as 54), his children, his political enemies and others who knew him but he is compelled, like the Ancient Mariner, to tell them his story almost as if he cannot believe it himself. Interspersed with Goldsmith’s interviews is archival footage of Bokassa’s reign. Eerily, these scenes are silent save for the beautiful, contemplative music Herzog uses in the background. The flickering footage, the gaudy pomp of Bokassa’s coronation and state occasions are like the echoes from the past that so haunt Goldsmith. Bokassa, who ruled from 1966 to 1979 inexplicably returned to Central Africa from exile after he was condemned to death for, among other crimes, cannibalism. Though it is believed that Bokassa is in prison, his fate is similar to that of Goldsmith who, Herzog tells us in the film’s opening, has disappeared somewhere in Africa. There is so much that is unexplained. (excerpt from review by Kathleen Maher)
26/7 FRIDAY 21:30 (1978, 103min, german, english, romany with english subtitles)
There is a quality to the color photography in Werner Herzog’s “Nosferatu the Vampyre” that seeps into your bones. It would be inadequate to call it “saturated.” It is rich, heavy, deep. The earth looks cold and dirty. There isn’t a lot of green, and it looks wet. Mountains look craggy, gray, sharp-edged. Interiors are filmed in bold reds and browns and whites — whites, especially, for the faces, and above all for Count Dracula’s. It is a film of remarkable beauty, but makes no effort to attract or visually coddle us. The spectacular journey by foot and coach to Dracula’s remote Transylvanian castle is deliberately not made to seem scenic.
Herzog is the most original of filmmakers, not much given to remakes. Why was he drawn to remake one of the most famous and least dated of German silent films? I think it was partly because of love — for Murnau, and for the film, which suits the macabre strain in some of his own work. It was partly in homage. And I suspect it was above all because he had the resource of Klaus Kinski. Kinski of all actors could most easily create the driven and the mad.. To say of someone that they were born to play a vampire is a strange compliment, but if you will compare the two versions of Nosferatu you might agree with me that only Kinski could have equaled or rivaled Max Schreck‘s performance.
“Nosferatu the Vampyre” cannot be confined to the category of “horror film.” It is about dread itself, and how easily the unwary can fall into evil. Bruno Ganz makes an ideal Harker because he sidesteps any temptation to play a hero, and plays a devoted husband who naively dismisses alarming warnings. He is loving, then resolute, then uncertain, then fearful, then desperate, and finally mad — lost.
One striking quality of the film is its beauty. Herzog’s pictorial eye is not often enough credited. His films always upstage it with their themes. We are focused on what happens, and there are few “beauty shots.” Look here at his control of the color palate, his off-center compositions, of the dramatic counterpoint of light and dark. Here is a film that does honor to the seriousness of vampires. No, I don’t believe in them. But if they were real, here is how they must look. (excerpt from review by Roger Ebert)