Wednesday, February 27, 2008

April Movie Geeks Nominations

For April, we'll be voting among five incredible war films.

They are:

Apocalypse Now
The Deer Hunter
Full Metal Jacket
Das Boot
The Pianist

To place your vote, leave a comment on this post, vote in the poll on the right hand side of the page, send us an e-mail, or show up to the Movie Geeks Club screening of Aguirre, the Wrath of God on March 25.

March Movie: Aguirre, the Wrath of God

On March 25 the Movie Geeks Club will screen the Werner Herzog classic, Aguirre, the Wrath of God. As always, the doors will open at 7:00, and the movie will start at 7:30.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Using a minimalist story and dialogue, the film creates a vision of madness and folly, counterpointed by the lush but unforgiving Amazonian jungle. Although based loosely on what is known of the historical figure of Aguirre, the film's story line is, as Herzog acknowledged years after the film's release, a work of imagination. Some of the people and situations may have been inspired by Gaspar de Carvajal's account of an earlier Amazonian expedition, although Carvajal was not present on the historical voyage represented in the film.

The film is the first collaboration between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. Their work together was immediately volatile, with the director and actor disagreeing on numerous aspects of the film and of Kinski's role. Herzog learned to play on Kinski's hostility and anger and used it throughout the film to charge scenes. Rumor holds that, at one point, Kinski threatened to leave the production but was held at gunpoint by the desperate director. Herzog reportedly threatened to shoot Kinski and then turn the gun on himself if Kinski quit the shoot. Both Herzog and Kinski have different versions of this story.

It is considered by many to be a masterpiece, and it has been included in Time Magazine's list of "All Time 100 Best Films." It is ranked #245 on IMDB's top 250 Movies list. It is also ranked as #46 on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time." It carries many of the literary and dramatic themes as the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness, and it is seen by many critics as an obvious influence on Coppola's take on the Heart of Darkness narrative, Apocalypse Now.

from Wikipedia and IMDB entries on Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Monday, February 25, 2008

If You Love the Sound of an Angry German . . .

then you'll love these clips of legendary actor Klaus Kinski throwing tantrums both on and off the sets of movies. Most of these clips were recorded by film director Werner Herzog, who collaborated with Kinski on five films. In 1999, Herzog released the documentary My Best Fiend, which detailed the difficult relationship between him and Kinski.

There were numerous occasions during their relationship where they became violent toward one another. One famous story holds that Herzog held Kinski at gunpoint and required him to stay on set. Another famous story tells of the South American natives working on the set of Fitzcarraldo offering to murder Kinski for Herzog because he was a troubled and problematic person for them to deal with.

Enjoy these clips. Then vote for the March movie at the right.

From Fitzcarraldo. A "mild" argument about the catering.

Kinski on his Jesus tour. Herzog claims Kinski finished this right before he came to the set of Aguirre and expected everyone to treat him like Jesus.

In this scene, Herzog explains the murder offer made by the natives, and how he regretted his decision to prevent them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Voting for March Movie Club

Next Tuesday is our February Movie Geeks Club. We'll be screening the film-noir classic Angels with Dirty Faces, starring James Cagney. As always, doors open at 7:00. Movie starts at 7:30. There is no admission fee. You can buy food and drinks before, during, and after the movie.

After the movie, we will vote for the March 25th Selection. You can also vote any time by sending us an e-mail or leaving a comment at the end of this post. We've decided to make March our "Kings of Independent Film" month. We have have selected five movies from three incredible independent directors. Here are the nominations for March 25:

Director 1: Werner Herzog
I decided to select three of Herzog's movies for nomination, mainly because I couldn't decide which of them I would rather see. I'm a fan of Herzog's work, especially of his legendary relationship with Klaus Kinski, and I think these are three great movies.

Aguirre, Wrath of God


Cobra Verde

Director 2: Harmony Korine
I like Korine's movies, as difficult as they can be to watch. I wasn't a big fan of Kids, but I loved Korine's hyperrealist/surrealist take on small-town Midwestern life in Gummo. I think julien donkey-boy is much more suited for Movie Geeks.

julien donkey-boy

Director 3: Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch is an independent heavyweight, and it's hard to pick one of his movies. I've always been a little partial to Dead Man. It's one of those movies that just sticks with you. It's maybe not one of his more well-known flicks, but it's among his more interesting, for my two cents.

Dead Man