A lot of people go to film school to do sissy things like ‘network’ and ‘make contacts’. Werner Herzog laughs at you. While you’re making a film about the evolution of your bedroom, Herzog is going to be teaching the real filmmaking skills of a master to small groups of hand-picked students. What will you learn from the guy who directed Aguirre, Grizzly Man and the new Bad Lieutenant? Important stuff, not like how to shoot (film), but what it’s like to be shot at. With bullets. Read More »


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Possibly the best thing about Werner Herzog doing his own Bad Lieutenant film (which got a poster today) is the fireworks that have erupted between he and Abel Ferrara, who directed the Harvey Keitel-starring film that Herzog hasn’t remade. Both directors are at the Venice Film Festival this week, where it wasn’t beyond possible that some sort of confrontation, or at least conversation would take place. (Ferrara once suggested Herzog and his cast should die in hell, and Herzog responded “Wonderful, yes! Let him fight…I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is.”)

There may not be a director alive who is as open to confrontation as Herzog, but who is also open to reconciliation. (This is the guy who pledged to eat his shoe if Errol Morris made a movie, and then did, on stage.) Now the Guardian reports that Herzog said at Venice that the two “should meet up soon over a bottle of whisky,” which is kind, but also less explosive than I was hoping for.

And, wait, what’s this noise about iguanas? Is this also Herzog’s mini-budget Godzilla homage? Potentially spoilerish details after the jump. Read More »


Earlier this month, we noted in surprise, as did a number of peers on the web, the sudden announcement of a new film from Harmony Korine, the semi-reclusive director of Mister Lonely. Aforementioned surprise arose because the project, entitled Trash Humpers, was already completed, said to be a 78-min feature, and set to premiere at next month’s Toronto International Film Festival. The TIFF has released further details alongside the first photos from Humpers. As seen below, the set pics are John Waters-esque and moderately NSFW. And personally, I find they recall ancient nightmares of Zeke the Plumber on Salute Your Shorts.
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We’ve been wondering when the hell we’d actually get to see Bad Lieutenant, the non-remake of Abel Ferrara’s film directed by Werner Herzog and starring Nicolas Cage (click here to see the Bad Lieutenant trailer). Now the Toronto International Film Festival has announced that the film will screen as part of the ‘Special Presentations’ slate. No huge surprise, as Herzog is frequently represented at TIFF (he was last there with Encounters at the End of the World in ’07) but since Bad Lieutenant has seemed to languish without distributor interest this is a good sign. Other great filmmakers were also announced for the fest; get details of the Coen Brothers and Michael Moore appearances after the jump. Read More »

Bad Lieutenant Movie Trailer

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans

A new trailer for Werner Herzog‘s (Grizzly Man) Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans has found its way online. The film is a quasi-remake of Abel Ferrara’s infamous 1992 film, which starred Harvey Keitel. The new film stars Nicolas Cage as a crooked drug-addicted cop who takes sexual favors for bribes. The film co-stars Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Coolidge and Fairuza Balk.

I’m not quite sure what to make of this. The trailer doesn’t impress me in the slightest, but I’ll see any movie Herzog makes. Why did Herzog want to make this movie? He claims hes never seen the original. The remake isn’t even a remake. Herzog himself calls it “a completely independent autonomous story.” Watch the trailer after the jump, and leave your thoughts in the comments below.
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I first read about David Lynch and Werner Herzog’s upcoming collaboration at the time of last year’s Cannes festival, before Herzog had even commenced filming on his upcoming Bad Lieutenant do-over. Back then, all that was known was the basic premise: a man believes himself in a Sophocles play and, accordingly, slaughters his mother with a sword. Scenes of the murder will be mixed into the plot line as flashbacks and we’ll get to know the killer very well indeed. I’m assuming the play is Electra, but I may be wrong.

It was also assumed then that Lynch would be the director; now it has been announced that Werner Herzog will be the man in charge. Indeed, Lynch’s role is a rather minor producing engagement. Further to this, we know who is lining up for roles and for the most part, it’s just the crew you might expect.

Michael Shannon, Udo Kier, Grace Zabriskie, Willem Defoe and Chloe Sevigny all have roles, Shannon presumably as the son and Zabriskie as the mother. Screen Daily carry the announcement – most of the names they name are newly associated to the project.

Shannon has been nominated for an Oscar this year for his supporting role in Revolutionary Road. There’s nothing really wrong with his performance but I can’t throw my weight behind the accolade. It isn’t his fault, but his role is so ill-conceived, mechanical and unresolved – he’s just a walking cliche there to “illuminate truths” and facilitate the plot, slightly (my quote marks crucial, because the part is neither illuminating, nor are these truths anything more than observations the audience is more than capable of making by themselves).

Shannon has made something of a speciality out of playing the mentally troubled/troubling, with Bug, Revolutionary Road and now this. His more “sane” roles have garnered far less attention, so maybe it’s less external typecasting than a short-term careerist move? Let’s see what he starts lining up in the future.

Shannon also apparently worked with Herzog on the recently-completed Bad Lieutenant film, though for some reason the imdb don’t seem to know this.

Filming on My Son is due to kick off in March, in the Coronado Island region of California though some filming is also due to take place in Peru.

Herzog attests to his interest by saying “I always wanted to make a horror film, but not with bloody axes and chain-saws. An anonymous fear should rather creep up at you.” I think Herzog has made at least two horror films in the past: his remake of Nosferatu, most obviously; Even Dwarves Started Small more controversially.

There’s nothing anonymous about the son, so I suppose this fear Herzog references is elsewhere contained in the film – in the creeping madness that overtakes him perhaps.

With My Son alongside Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, Defoe sure has a nice little pair of off-mainstream horror films coming; and with the Spierig Brothers’ Daybreakers, a hopefully just as nice, in the mainstream one too.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

“Do we not have a bell?”

Too bad John McCain’s not a grizzled, old indie director. Zing. Wild and crazy guys, Werner Herzog (above) and Abel Ferrara (right), are exchanging heated words and grumpy disses in regard to Herzog’s 2009 remake of Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant, with Nic Cage starring in the role once inhabited by Harvey Keitel. Whaaa happen? Well, Ferrara drew verbal first blood at Cannes by dreaming up a deranged hypothetical befitting a Slashfilm commenter’s luv for Brett Ratner…

“I wish these [Herzog and remake people] die in Hell. I hope they’re all in the same streetcar, and it blows up,” Ferrara told Spout.

As Ferrara said this, the hair in Don King’s ear twitched oh so slightly across the pond. This week Herzog responded to Ferrara’s fiery remarks with a “Who’s that?” battle strategy utilized by so many rap artists.

Defamer: Have you talked to [Ferrara]?

Herzog: No. I have no idea who Abel Ferrara is. But let him fight the windmills, like Don Quixote. …I’ve never seen a film by him. I have no idea who he is. Is he Italian? Is he French? Who is he? …Maybe I could invite him to act in a movie! Except I don’t know what he looks like.”

Is “let him fight the windmills” the new “Nuke the Fridge”? Herzog also cops to not having viewed or even knowing much about the original film. In the past, Slashfilm and many of our readers have asked why this remake is needed. And it’s not the usual case of an exhausted, “Why Hollywood Whyyyy?!?” per se. Without question, Herzog is a talented guy (Grizzly Man, Rescue Dawn, Aguirre), but how would he feel if someone remade one of his more personal films like Fitzcarraldo without bothering to see it or check in with him? Bad Lieutenant is Ferrara’s signature film (alongside his awesome The King of New York); it just seems uncouth. But here is what drew Herzog to the material…

“There’s an interesting screenplay; it’s a very, very dark story. It’s great because it seems to reflect a side of the collective psyche – sometimes there are just good times for film noir. …We have seen a lot of New York in movies; we have not seen New Orleans in feature films. Or very few feature films. After Katrina it’s a particularly interesting set-up. The neglect and politics after the hurricane struck are something quite amazing. It has to do with public morality.”

Switching the setting from the Rotten Apple to the Big Easy is intriguing to say the least, but that gives him even less reason to use the title; Ferrara’s is a cult classic, certainly, but the NC-17 flick’s name recognition amongst the mainstream is slight. Moreover, the title character’s name is different in the remake. The lone major link between the films is producer Edward R. Pressman. Who do you side with here? Herzog compares his film to a new actor taking over James Bond, but that doesn’t cut the mustard. I side with Ferrara, unless he goes through with real indie terrorism. Good exposure for all.

Discuss: Does Ferrara have a right to be aggro? Will this escalate? Do you have a fave director rivalry?

Bat Lieutenant and Law Abiding Citizen movie posters

Slumdog Millionaire movie posterMTV has a batch of new movie posters from Cannes. The three most interesting can be seen above:

  • Werner Herzog‘s (Grizzly Man) remake of Bad Lieutenant starring Nicolas Cage.
  • Frank Darabont‘s (The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile) Law Abiding Citizen which stars Gerard Butler as an assistant D.A. is targeted by a victim of the legal system who looks to exact a certain revenge.
  • Danny Boyle‘s (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later…) Slumdog Millionaire, a comedy about an illiterate kid who looks to become a contestant on the Hindi version of Who Wants to be A Millionaire in order to re-establish contact with the girl he loves, who is a huge fan of the show.

Slumdog Millionaire has completed filming, while the other two films are in preproduction. Check out more movie posters from Cannes on MTV.



Did Slashfilm piss off the Ghost of April Fool’s Day? Topping off a day of odd movie announcements and rumors, Variety reports that director Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Aguirre: Wrath of God) will helm a remake of Abel Ferrara’s NC-17 classic Bad Lieutenant starring Nicolas Cage in the title role, formerly inhabited, and fantastically so, by Harvey Keitel back in ’92. The remake is scheduled to begin filming late summer. Like Point Break 2, first word of this remake arrived last year and I believe that Ferrara himself was considering it.

For those who haven’t seen it (do so), Keitel starred as a corrupt New York cop strenuously spiraling into an abyss of narcotics, thievery, naked disorientation, and betting/losing his monies on Darryl Strawberry (the irony). Ferrara’s is one of my favorite depictions of New York in film, because the city’s garbage and vice seeps into Keitel’s character until he’s forced to flush it out and face the consequences. And it may sound sensational, but the movie’s recurring theme of faith is like a punch in the gut and quite effective.

Apparently, Herzog’s remake will update the time period and cop to post-9/11. Last year, FilmStalker parlayed that the script by TV writer/producer William M. Finkelstein (NYPD Blue, Murder One) contained the following plot points…

According to the story Finkelstein is bringing the character back to life with a backstory of drug addiction, the showing of his promotion to Sergeant, the drug related murders of five illegal immigrants and a name for the character. Other than that they say that the drugs, sex, stealing and gambling are still going to play a major part in the story.

Hopefully this doesn’t turn into a case of “who’s bad?” between ’92 NYC and ’00s NYC. That would make as much sense as remaking Larry Clark’s Kids in the present day. Respected producer Edward R. Pressman, who backed the original film, is on board again along with a long line-up of other producers including Stephen Belafonte and Nu Image/Millennium’s Danny Dimbort. I am a big fan of Herzog and dig/ignore a lot of Cage’s work, but I’m not yet convinced this will be anything other than a harder, more intimate version of Training Day.

Discuss: The talent involved strikes interest, but is an update needed? Who cares about debating whether Hollywood should remake the film, because they will remake anything, but do you personally think the times call for a new Bad Lieutenant, as it seems it will be heavy on commentary? I know we’ll get a lot of “well, it could be worse” below, but try to avoid that treaded route if you’ve seen the original. Add insight.