What have ye done, indeed

Posted by · 4:40 pm · August 19th, 2009

He may be one of our greatest living filmmakers, but these are strange days in the career of one Mr. Werner Herzog. First he finally cops his first Oscar nomination this year for an immaculately executed middle-arthouse documentary that nonetheless stands deep in the shadow of his greatest work.

Then he goes to the opposite extreme of form, function and taste with his frankly barmy-looking genre experiment “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans,” which we’ll soon be seeing at Venice and Toronto. While we’re still scratching their heads over that prospect, some folks aren’t even aware that he has a second pulpy American policier bowing at Toronto.

The trailer is about what you’d expect for a film saddled with the title “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done,” which is to say it looks a little ungainly, a lot baffling, and — however many appetizing names are thrown into the pot, from David Lynch to Michael Shannon — a teensy-weensy bit terrible.

If Herzog really has nursed a lifelong pension plan of becoming the next John Dahl by way of latter-day Wim Wenders, I’d be the last to deny him his wish. But might I suggest — and I write with all the hope in the world for this and “Lieutenant” to be better than they look — that there could be better uses of his time and gifts?

→ 3 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

3 responses so far

  • 1 8-19-2009 at 9:02 pm

    Chad Hartigan said...

    Both those films look atrocious.

  • 2 8-19-2009 at 9:08 pm

    slayton said...

    I think this trailer is purposely tongue-in-cheek awful. “He killed his mother. She’s dead.” and Udo Kier getting his glasses stolen by an ostrich? Personally I think it looks like a great genre mishmash. At the very least it’ll probably be a fun watch.

  • 3 8-20-2009 at 3:39 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I side with Chad here, I’m afraid.