A day with Werner Herzog

... spent going over the first 17 minutes of Aguirre, the Wrath of God, as described by Roger Ebert:

As we watched them descend, [Herzog] froze the DVD frame to discuss several of the actors. A fat man who ate all the mangos. A close friend, semi-literate, who had bicycled 35,000 km around North America and later became a great photographer. Above all, his star Klaus Kinski, about whom some years later he made a film: “My Best Fiend.”

Kinski, in constant rage. Describing himself as a “natural man” who could live in the forest like an animal. Then complaining that his tent leaked. Then complaining that the thatch shelter built over the tent leaked. Then moving at great inconvenience to the production into a shabby hotel where he beat his wife nightly, the crew discreetly removing the blood stains.

“A coward,” Herzog says.

“Is it true,” a voice from the dark asks, “that the Indians asked your permission to murder him?”

“No. That was on ‘Fitzcarraldo’.”

Incidentally, this isn’t the first collaboration between Herzog and Goodbye Solo director Ramin Bahrani:

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