Since today is Werner Herzog’s birthday, I thought I would share a Herzog scene that I love.
Herzog is such an iconic and eccentric figure that I think there’s a tendency to overlook just how good of a director and a storyteller he actually is. People just tend to think of him as being the man with the German accent who makes random comments about how the universe is governed by chaos.
But, he’s actually a brilliant director as well and if you need proof, just watch his 1972 film, Aguirre, The Wrath of God. The scene below is actually from the final few minutes of the film so I guess it’s technically a spoiler if you haven’t seen the film yet. That said, people who get upset about spoilers are wimps.
Klaus Kinski plays Aguirre, a Spanish conquistador who attempts to conquer the South America by floating down the Amazon River. Things don’t quite go the way that he intended. By the end of the film, all of his man are dead and a large amount of monkeys are congregating on his raft. Has Aguirre conquered the monkeys or have they conquered him?
That’s up to the viewer to decide.
Happy birthday, Werner Herzog!