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Overstreet

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

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Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?

Is it true?

Why, why, why must they do this?

Because Cage starring in remakes like The Wicker Man and City of Angels were such great ideas?

What is Herzog going to do with

the appearance of Christ

at the end of the film?

Why must Cage star in so many unnecessary remakes of great films?

Will we have to watch Cage as he... oh, never mind. This whole idea gives me a headache.

Edited by Overstreet

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Gosh, stuff like this makes me feel old. Is Bad Lieutenant -- a film that was all the buzz when I was at university -- really so old now that we can talk about remaking it?

Of course, director Abel Ferrara made ANOTHER film around that time -- Body Snatchers -- which has since been remade, as well (i.e. The Invasion -- although technically, of course, BOTH films were remakes of Invasion of the Body Snatchers).

Herzog. Hmmm. Apart from Nosferatu, and apart from Rescue Dawn (which might or might not count, since it was a dramatization of a subject that he had already produced a documentary about), has he done any other remakes?

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Interesting. I have such a love/hate relationship with Bad Lieutenant that it will be helpful to see it from some different angles. The "Christ" appearance at the end smacks of Herzog's continual reference to "ecstatic" truth, which seems to be a good way to understand what is going on there.

This will provide an interesting followup to that other discussion we had about "remakes" of Jesus films.

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I feel like I'm in the bizarro A&F. That first line of the last article you linked pretty much sums it up, Jeff.

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I am speechless at that one. That is like the Velvet Revolver of contemporary filmmaking. Or something. Can they get John Carpenter to score it? How can they work Cronenberg in on the production?

Edited by MLeary

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I am speechless at that one. That is like the Velvet Revolver of contemporary filmmaking. Or something. Can they get John Carpenter to score it? How can they work Cronenberg in on the production?

:lol:

Can Kurt Russell star in it?

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Jeffrey,

In my blog post on this I tried to comment on your point about Herzog's beliefs, but struggled to find much about them. Could you elaborate please?

Thanks

Matt

PS - Variety report as well FWIW

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Well, my experience with Herzog's films have been a consistent encounter with what you might call "the question of chaos." Herzog seems preoccupied with that line between meaning and madness, and with devastating events that seem to bring an axe down on the idea of a benevolent designer. But I may be making too much of that, because, for all of his speculation about chaos and meaninglessness, he still seems to work from a place of genuine grief, an unshakable sense that things have gone wrong. And if there is no design, how could they have "gone wrong"?

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...he still seems to work from a place of genuine grief, an unshakable sense that things have gone wrong. And if there is no design, how could they have "gone wrong"?

This is what I've always picked up from his movies, and something I value. Mind you, I haven't seen a ton of Herzog movies, but the ones I've seen (and I've enjoyed all of them) seem to have vanity or obsession as a possible cause of that madness.

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Herzog and Lynch working together. I can see them doing a remake of Un Chien Andalou together. <shudders>

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But I may be making too much of that, because, for all of his speculation about chaos and meaninglessness, he still seems to work from a place of genuine grief, an unshakable sense that things have gone wrong. And if there is no design, how could they have "gone wrong"?

I think that fits a great many of his films. He constantly talks about setting different concepts of truth against each other in the hope that when the sparks begin to fly we can catch a glimpse of real truth, "ecstatic truth," in the background. I enjoy watching his characters making their way to points of realization, whether they encounter madness, grief, or humility. These sorts of ultimately human responses will inevitably run against the grain of their presentation, whether in documentary (Grizzly Man), narrative (Stroszek), or mythical (Heart of Glass) form. When these characters begin to break down, so do their films, and we are granted opportunities to catch glimmers of Herzog's conception of "truth" in the aftermath. (Somewhere around here we have a great thread about the Morris/Herzog interview - good comments on what Herzog does in that discussion.)

Herzog talks about film as an art for "illiterates," a space for people to have uncritical and unmediated responses to different stories and emotions. It will be interesting to think about the Christ appearance at the end of this new version of Bad Lieut. as an appearance for "illiterates," as Keitel's character is a complete illiterate when it comes to Christianity.

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Wells:

Defamer's Stu Van Airsdale has spoken to Werner Herzog about his Bad Lieutenant film that will star Nicolas Cage and will shoot in New Orleans for budgetary reasons. It is not, Herzog says, a remake of Abel Ferrara's original but a continuation in a James Bond franchise sense. He also tells Van Airsdale that he has no clue who Ferrara is. Right.

Edited by Overstreet

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More today at Vulture.

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We have a title -- and another wacky anecdote, courtesy of Jeffrey Wells:

A note from the great Werner Herzog: "As you probably know, I will begin principal photography of
Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans
in three weeks time, with only a very short period of pre-production. But I am doing fine, and this does not make me nervous. By the way: it is not a remake (as reported almost everywhere) -- it is a completely different story in the same sense as the last James Bond is not a remake of the previous one.

"On another note: just before the hurricane I was scouting locations in Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Vietnam for
The Piano Tuner
, and as soon as I arrived in Bangkok I found myself arrested and handcuffed to a chair because of unpaid bills and taxes by the producers of
Rescue Dawn
. It required much explaining to explain that I was not the producer."

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Val Kilmer and Xzibit (that's pronounced "exhibit", for those of you like me that may have had to have their teen translate) have joined the cast according to this story at Variety.

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Thanks for the update. I am going to hazard a guess that if Herzog includes the Christ imagery, it won't have the effect it had in the original. That scene is the only reason worth watching this film, otherwise it is a fairly typical story about a dirty cop looking for a little redemption.

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One of Jeffrey Wells's sources explains how this movie came to be:

The whole reason the film was made was because [execuive producer] Avi Lerner got hold of the rights, which he presumably bought it from Ed Pressman for an undisclosed sum. And he went out and pre-sold the film in ten countries for $30 million, or an average of $3 million per country.

Lerner funded the film for $20 million, and pocketed $10 million for himself. Nic Cage, who likes New Orleans and owns a home there, took a substantial pay cut -- only about $2 million -- because he wanted to work with [director] Werner Herzog, who probably got his first decent payday check out of this deal. William Finklestein's script wasn't good but Herzog upgraded it considerably. Lerner didn't even look at the script.

Meanwhile, the original movie's director Abel Ferrara isn't happy.

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I am not sure what to make of the Filmmaker Mag link. On the one hand, I can understand why he would be upset about someone else pillaging one of his films. On the other hand, I am completely offput by his bitterness and petulance. He sounds like a little kid that just learned the f-word.

Here is a bit about Mary:

"In 1945 in Nag Hammadi they found a jar and inside it were all the five gospels that we're aware of plus the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Thomas - the gospels that they didn't get. Now, I'm sure that underneath the Vatican – that's the documentary that I want to make – you can imagine what they've got. If they've got the body of Peter, you can rest assured they've got these fuckin' gospels. But this is neither here nor there, the bottom line is that in 1945 the Gnostic Gospels were found, and we just quote right out of them."

Gospel of Mary is not Nag Hammadi, and was found in 1896. I am not sure what "five gospels that we're aware of" he is talking about. I shudder to think he is making a film about Mary with such limited knowledge of these texts. There is a great film in these texts, but Ferrara seems pretty cavalier about his source material.

Edited by MLeary

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From an older Defamer interview:

Speaking of which, the original film's director, Abel Ferrara, has vowed to fight this project, and

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Herzog: "It was not so much a remake as an homage to Murnau. But I don't feel like doing an homage to Abel Ferrara because I don't know what he did

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Ugh. Now do I have to watch Dangerous Game?

I wouldn't mind seeing Herzog make a Kinski maneuver on Ferrara by exposing his Kazantzakian messiah complex - which is probably just a twisted version of Kinski's crippling narcissism anyway. I did like Mary for a lot of reasons, but the better film would have been Herzog making a film about Ferrara reading the Gospel of Mary. (The ideological equivalent of dragging a steamboat over a mountain.)

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Well, it's definitely NSFW. But there is a trailer floating around out there. I'm not sure I should link to it...

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