by Allan Fish
(West Germany 1974 110m) DVD1/2
Aka. Every Man for Himself and God Against All/Jeder Fur Sich und Gott Gegen Alle
Are you a tree-frog?
p/d/w Werner Herzog ph Jorg Schmidt-Reitwein ed Beate Mainka-Jellinghaus m J.Pachelbel, T.Albinoni, Orlando diLasso, W.A.Mozart art Henning V.Clerke
Bruno S. (Kaspar Hauser), Walter Ladengast (Daumer), Hans Musaus (unknown man), Brigitte Mira (Kathe), Michael Kroecher (Lord Stanhope), Willy Semmelrogge (circus director), Henry Van Lyck (cavalry captain), Elis Pilgrim (pastor), Enno Patalas (Fuhrmann), Volker Prechtel (guard),
Through his series of memorable collaborations with actor Klaus Kinski (particularly those great studies of ego- and megalomania Fitzcarraldo and the earlier Aguirre, Wrath of God), Werner Herzog is guaranteed his place in movie history. It is therefore perhaps ironic that his greatest film does not showcase the undoubted talent of Kinski, but an anonymity, in every sense of the word. Unlike many films dealing with such enigmatic mysteries, it does not even attempt to explain the central mystery, but rather to see the world through the eyes of its protagonist. And a very cruel but beautiful world it is.
In 1828 a young man, Kaspar Hauser, is dropped off into the town square in Nuremberg and left there by the man who has been his only contact with the outside world. The letter he carries in his hand informs those who read it that he has been kept effectively imprisoned in a small dingy cellar for his entire life, since being left to the unknown man’s care as a foundling. Though some of the everyday townsfolk show compassion, it is a well to do gentleman who teaches him the finer things in life. Sadly, however, Kaspar Hauser’s happiness is short lived. (more…)