Computer Audio BackUp Plan A

Klaus Kinski in Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo

Six inches of snow more or less doesn't sound like anything to talk about. But in October in NJ when the trees are still ripe with multicolored leaves and power lines weave in and out of their branches for nearly every mile of the town you live in and then some, it spells outage. We lost power on Saturday at around 6pm and our local power company expects to have it back "by Thursday or Friday".

So here I sit in a lovely hotel room looking out over the closed pool with not a drop of snow in site. I plan to take a long shower, get some warm dinner (and cold beer) and get back to AudioStream(ing) soon. Sorry for the lull.

If you haven't seen Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo I cannot recommend it highly enough. It tells the tale of a man obsessed with music and bringing his beloved opera to an isolated Peruvian village. During these few days of silence, I see the genius in owning a mechanical Victrolla for those times when we need music's warming embrace and have nothing more to power it than desire.

Kevin Doyle's picture

....a viewing of My Best Fiend.  Herzog's documentary about Kinski.  It is a ton of fun.  Congrats on the new site, Michael!  I look forward to your articles, having greatly enjoyed your writing over at 6Moons for years.  I appreciate that you manage to keep it fun and enjoyable, as any pastime should be.  There's enough jostling for position and anal retentive detail in the working world.  There's no need for one's pleasure time activity to be filled with the same.  

Michael Lavorgna's picture

Yes, fun is the end game and I agree about "My Best Friend". Excellent recommendation!

During our power outage, I re-(re)-watched Fitzcarraldo on DVD including the "Director's Commentary" and a lot of Herzog’s commentary is about Kinski. One fun anecdote - the tribal chief who is in the film offered to knock off Kinski as a favor to Herzog. Herzog jokes? he actually considered taking him up on it.

I'd also recommend Herzog's diary "Of Walking in Ice: Munich - Paris 23 November - 14 December 1974" and his recent "Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo".

Kevin Doyle's picture

And the one about how Kinski was threatening to walk off at some point in the production.  Herzog took out a pistol and calmly told Kinski that he would first first fire at the boat, then at him if he attempted to leave.  

It's funny that you mention "Of Walking in Ice."  Apparently, it's out of print and a fairly expensive on the used market.  A friend of mine typed it out and emailed it to a group of us to help disseminate the work, his way of showing some gratitude to Herzog for all of the enjoyment he had derived from his works.  I doubt Herzog would be bothered by the minor loss of royalty income from an out of print work.  If you ever want a copy to send friends, let me know and I can email it to you.  It's a WordPad document.  

I'll have to check out that newer documentary.  

Are you a Fassbinder fan?  If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and rent In a Year of 13 Moons.  It's one of my favorite films, and one of his most personal works.  Fassbinder did everything and it shows.  There is a scene in which the protagonist is reciting Goethe over a Handel concerto which is just perfect, despite being a bit difficult.  If you've seen it already, you know what I'm talking about.  If you haven't, you're in for a treat.  All those New German Cinema directors had such different styles, but a lot of great work came out of that period.  Man, I need to rewatch Stroszek and The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser with my girlfriend after she's up to date with Breaking Bad.  2 seasons to go!


Michael Lavorgna's picture

Many moons ago I saw a weekend long Fassbinder fest at the old Thalia Theatre I believe just before they shut it down. I sat there for an entire weekend immersed in Fassbinder occasionally nodding off to wake up to more Fassbinder and a constant march of cockroaches along the seatbacks in front of me. Kind of a perfect setting.

Cool on the "Of Walking In Ice" I'll let you know (and I also watched Kasper Hauser during our outage ;-)

I'm also a fan of the Wolf Gremm film Kamikaze 89 which stars Fassbinder but I think we're a small group. 

Kevin Doyle's picture

I think I would have a psychotic episode if I watched more than 4 hours of Fassbinder in a sitting.  :)  Which is probably why I still haven't watched Berlin Alexanderplatz.

I'll check out Kamikaze 89.  Never saw it but it sounds interesting.  I've always found Fassbinder to be a terrible actor when he was acting in his own productions.  I hope he's better in a starring role in someone else's film.  Even if it's terrible, though, it should be good for a laugh.  

Michael Lavorgna's picture

In terms of Fassbinder's acting but in Kamikaze 89 it works (for me).


Kevin Doyle's picture

I probably spoke too strongly about his terrible acting, anyway.  It just seems that the sensitivity that made him a great writer and director lends itself to a bit of awkwardness when in front of the camera.  And I was mainly considering his appearances in his own early films in my appraisal of his acting abilities.  Given the later date and the fact that he was just free to act in this film, without other production thoughts burdening him, I can image he could be free and easy and enjoy the role.  It'll probably be a while before I see it. San Diego is a far cry from New York when it comes to video store rental options, and I'm too cheap to buy a movie I may only watch once.  :)