Who wrote the film My Son

Werner Herzog brings theater to film

Werner Herzog's latest work is now also being published as direct-to-DVD. Good for us fans, who receive the bonus material right away. In My Son, My Son What Have Ye Done, Herzog goes a new way and pulls the theater into a psychodrama.

"Sometimes I have the feeling that David Lynchs and my films are not talking to each other, but sometimes they are dancing together."

[Werner Herzog in the audio commentary on A caring son]

David Lynch presents a Werner Herzog film - the true cineast's heart immediately beats faster. A caring son is now appearing on DVD in Germany and moviepilot has seen what the duo has made with it.

A Caring Son is based on the true case of Mark Yavorsky, who killed his mother with a saber on June 10, 1979. He had previously proven his acting talent in the theater production of Oresty: As the son of Orestes, he kills his mother Clytaimnestra in order to avenge the murder of Agamemnon, who was his father.

After the terrific Bad Lieutenant, now a psychodrama about a screwed up son. In fact, as one learns in the wonderful audio commentary with director Werner Herzog, producer Eric Bassett and co-author Herb Golder, the idea for the film came about when he heard a lecture on this true criminal case at a conference about Sophocles. The script developed along the lines of the real case, which was slightly changed in a few places. So the real perpetrator traveled to Pakistan, which had to do with some kind of religious experience; The Duke film lets the main actor travel to Peru, where he knew the location of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. As a filmmaker nowadays you want to avoid topics like Islamism, says Herzog. In addition, the producer was relieved that there was no filming in Pakistan. Incidentally, the script was written back in 1995, but lay idle until David Lynch found out about it and felt like sponsoring this Herzog project.

Herzog stages the whole thing like a play, with flashbacks that indicate the depths of this sick soul. Both Herzog and Lynch moments come into play: it is teeming with flamingos and dwarfs, some scenes stand still like a photograph and appear eerie just because of their staging (see cover picture). A Strauss steals his reading glasses from the shirt pocket of the grandiose Udo Kier, who plays the theater director. Anyone interested in Lynch's influence on the film should read the audio commentary on the DVD, in which, for example. learns that Grace Zabriskie is a favorite Lynch actress and was therefore suggested.

Excellent (cult) actors

By the way, as you know it from Herzog films, the casting was a perfect success. Basically all roles are cast by cult actors, each of whom can be associated with at least one cult film by a cult director. Michael Shannon, who already showed how to play a psychopath in times of turmoil, plays outstandingly as usual and the supporting roles are also well cast. Udo Kier plays the theater director who cast the murderous son in this very role, Chloë Sevigny his shaky fiancée, who suffers from the close bond between her lover and his mother. The screenplay by Herzog and Herbert Golder begins with a cop (Willem Dafoe, whose performance is somewhat reminiscent of The Bloody Path of God) rushing to the scene with his colleague (Michael Peña) and repeatedly knitting outstanding actors into it. Brad Dourif is allowed to play the murderer's uncle, a racist owner of an ostrich farm.

The bonus material

As I said, the audio commentary by director Werner Herzog, producer Eric Bassett and co-author Herb Golder provides the Herzog fan with many fascinating production details and is very entertaining to listen to. Herzog's typical German English stimulates the laughing muscles as usual, but also carries a lot of additional information to our ears, which can certainly be useful and valuable to the film fan. For example, Herzog tells how troublesome it was to get the rights to the song Corridos of Chavela Vargas to get that he wanted exactly this song as an intro, because it sings about the “epic measure of crossing borders”, which is also what happens in the film. The collaboration with David Lynch is explained, the function of the flamingos, the scenes in Peru, the incredibly intense scene on the Uyghur market in China, etc. etc. Anyone who is interested in the medium of film will be delighted with the audio commentary to have.

In addition to less significant additional material such as the trailers, there is also a Making of in the extras, which shows the Herzog fan how the great master works. Herzog talks about how the project came about, how he suggested that Lynch return to the essence of filmmaking and create something lean, cost-effective, based on a unique idea.

A Caring Son will be released on DVD on November 18, 2010. Check it out if you are fascinated by other kinds of films. The DVD and Blu-Ray can of course be bought at amazon.de.