Tribute to Ebert/U. of Chicago Graham School Class #3
Two biggest takeaways this viewing (besides just how indebted APOCALYPSE NOW is to it): 1. Aguirre is actually the sanest, most practical member of Pizarro's doomed crew of conquistadors. He doesn't lose his mind in the jungle so much as recognize right away that the chaos of the jungle suits his particular brand of grand delusion — and then proceeds to embrace the possibilities. 2. Related, Kinski is far from the howling madman I remembered, or that his reputation might lead you to believe. He's downright subtle. You heard me, subtle. But no less commanding and charismatic (and scary) a presence, helped by Herzog's low angle close-ups.
Gets 5 stars because it's ridiculous that in just his third feature film, Herzog managed to deliver all-time classic opening AND closing scenes.
Touch my monkey, touch it.