Classic IFFR KINO

IFFR KINO #34: Stroszek (1977)

Hoezo in KINO

Werner Herzog and Rotterdam go way back. Over the years, IFFR has screened fourteen films by the intrepid filmmaker, and in 2021 the festival honoured him with The Werner: a bulldozer-turned-mobile film studio, inspired by Herzog’s penchant for confronting danger and seeking out liminal situations. For this KINO edition, we return to 1978, when Herzog presented his film Stroszek in Rotterdam.

Credits

Regie
Werner Herzog
Cast
Bruno S., Eva Mattes, Clemens Scheitz
Genre
Comedy, Drama
Speelduur
115
Land
Germany
Taal
German
Ondertiteling
English

Storyline

Bruno Stroszek is released from prison for the umpteenth time. He picks up his old life as a busker and falls in love with sex worker Eva. After Eva’s pimps trash Bruno and his instruments, Bruno’s neighbor offers the duo the chance to leave Germany for the United States.

Life in arid Wisconsin turns out to be all but the American Dream. Bruno works as a mechanic; Eva is a waitress at a truck stop. They buy a trailer to live in, but soon the bills pile up and Eva is forced to take up her old job to make some money on the side. Bruno loses his home, his car breaks down, Eva leaves him and his love for the bottle returns.

Most of the actors in Stroszek are not actors at all: as he did for other films, Werner Herzog picked people off the street and put them in front of the camera. He wrote the wonderfully eccentric film in four days and insisted on filming in Plainfield, Wisconsin, best known as the home of murderer Ed Gein – who was the inspiration for Hitchcock’s Psycho.

Stills

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IFFR KINO #34: Stroszek