homeland insecurity: Gilliam, Herzog and The Weather Underground

Check out Zen Archery for a few antagonistic and beautiful banners in this time of sanity. After listening to Werner Herzog's commentary on Even Dwarfs Started Small last night, I felt the itch rise again. That vicious, satiric, dreamlike and surreal itch to, you know, rebel a little. Where has that fled in the collective moment?

Everytime I hear Herzog speak of how he accepts, how he must accept the criticism launched at him for producing such manic, mad films as Dwarves, or for that matter, how Terry Gilliam fled the United States for the UK in the '60s as he just couldn't take it anymore ("I felt like I was going to throw a bomb or something," to paraphrase in an interview with Salman Rushdie), I wonder where these creative types have gone, those so utterly at odds with the current world that they just can't settle in with it, would never entertain a thought of somehow working with 'the system'--those that see 'the system' itself as a problem beyond economics. Love/hate.

There's a great Onion interview with Gilliam here where he voices a few convictions that resonate with me. And Gilliam: don't worry, Fear and Loathing resonated with us, we just didn't see it in theatres, but we've all got the DVD and, moreover, we read HST like addicts of a strange drug that has been all but purged from the globe. Gilliam, February 2003:

"...we certainly have criminals in the White House. These are even more successful than the last time. I mean, Nixon and company were kind of petty in their ambitions. These guys are ruthless beyond belief, and boy, are they pocketing a lot of money."

Good to hear more than one person come out and put it on the line. Where are the '60s radicals?

"Filmmaking has become amazingly baroque now. The camera can go anywhere. We can do anything, and it's just "Wow!" And yet I find that most of the films I see are just rides, E-rides at Disneyland. They're nothing that tends to stay with me. They don't touch any core that is either worrisome or inspiring. They're good fun, but usually when you walk out of the cinema, they're gone. They don't leave bits of shrapnel in you."

I feel the same way about most media and technology art.

I'm off to watch a film about The Weather Underground I picked up at the Montreal Anarchist Bookfair. I can't get any work done; everything is looming and distracting.

posted. Thu - May 20, 2004 @ 01:40 PM           |