'Passion' Tix Available for Tonight;
Arguing Over 'Aguirre'
This week is turning out to be full of cinematic treats for me. It started on Sunday at the Pacific Film Archive theatre and the packed house for Carl Dreyer's classic "Ordet." As a cineaste, I'm embarrassed to admit this was the first time I saw the film, but I've finally seen it and now can't wait to see it again. The print was pristine, allowing Dreyer's black, white and gray contrasts to really shine on the big screen.
On Monday evening I caught the early showing at the Red Vic of Werner Herzog's legendary collaboration with Klaus Kinski in a South American jungle, "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." As I do every time this theatre shows the film, I argued with the woman at the box office about the incorrect info contained on their calender whenever they play it:
His then teenage, real-life daughter, Natasha Kinski, stars as the beautiful daughter in the film.
First, her name is Nastassja, and second, she is not in the film. At the time "Aguirre" was made, she was just 11-years-old, hardly the late teenage girl on the screen. The Red Vic folks could have followed their link to the IMDB listing for "Aguirre" and seen that the only Kinski in it is Klaus. The SFist.com site also repeated the error, and I hope they amend their post.
Another patron, a German-born film lover named Sylvia, who I've seen at other German and art-house movies, also complained about the wrong cast info, and during the screening, the Red Vic staffers went online and confirmed what she and I were saying. Afterward, we all chatted about how great "Aguirre" is, and the staffers promised they wouldn't repeat the same mistake the next time they show it.
I told everyone about the original English version of the film, which I saw at a Left Bank cinema in Paris during the winter of 1979, and they were surprised to learn this fact. With an international cast, Herzog shot it in English and the version we see in America is dubbed into German.
For Sylvia and the Red Vic folks, as promised, I'm sharing a trailer for "Aguirre" with the actors speaking English:
Tonight is the icing on the celluloid cake, with Dreyer's masterpiece "The Passion of Joan of Arc" unspooling at Oakland's Paramount Theatre. This special program features a live oratorio performed by hundreds of singers and musicians, and is co-sponsored by the Pacific Film Archive, the Paramount Theatre and the Silent Film Festival.
This special event starts at 7:30 PM and tickets are still available. Click here to purchase tickets online, or just show up at the Paramount box office to buy a seat. Go here for directions to the theatre.
Don't miss "Passion" tonight. Come out to Oakland, see this fabulous work of art as it was meant to be seen - on a large screen with an appreciative audience.
I envy you your access to such fine cinema.
I haven't seen Dreyer's films in 40 years since University. In June we managed to get a group together for the most recent restored and augments version of Metropolis, which everyone enjoyed. The new footage from Argentina supplied a Weimar-esque flavor of debauchery and cabarets that had hitherto been absent.
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