Nosferatu the Vampyre ★★★

Ascend to heavens
Lays nobility a ruins.
A parade of rats
Stirs Enlightenment's madness.
Waltz of Anarchy

Am I losing my Herzog sensibility? There’s something about the imposing sense of Herzog’s worldview here that bothers me in a way I can’t exactly articulate and if I did would only sound really dumb. Anyways, Herzog’s nihilism here struck me as annoying, his belief that nature must be chaos almost suffocating, For whatever reason, I’ve found myself less interested in Herzog—his films seem document a certain reality and then codify them with a certain truth about the world (which is to say, Herzog is a filmmaker). The conclusions in Nosferatu seem all but inevitable: humans go mad because that’s in their nature (I'm more of a David Hume guy when it comes to this), all society is just on the fringe of destruction. This is not to say Herzog fails at creating a stunning image: a silent ship entering a quiet street, the climbing of a ponderous mountain, the way the castle is both an open ruin and an ominous prison, and of course the anarchic society captured in that breathtaking long shot from a God’s eye POV. But I found myself disinterested by this all, unable to revel in the anarchy, which seems the only point of it all. I don’t know: go read Keith Uhlich and David Jenkins for better takes on this.

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