A man is seen nude from behind while in a bath. This shot lasts for several seconds and is not in a sexual context.


Film review:Translated by www.rabudo-ru.com


In the autumn of 1828, it was found that a young man under the age of 20 was abandoned in the square of a small town in Germany. He was weak and could only barely walk. His intelligence was like a newborn baby. He could not speak and could spell his name with a pencil: Caspar herb. Some say he was an outcast, others say he escaped from the prison of English Puritans, but this can only be guessed. People only know that he was locked up in a underground kiln at birth, isolated from the world, and has never seen sunshine, flowers, trees and animals. At first, he was given to a circus by the authorities in the town for people to visit. Later, an old teacher took him in and taught him to speak, spell, play the piano and a lot of secular knowledge. He was attacked twice by unidentified people. The second attack took his life. At that time, it was only five years since his “birth”. Since his discovery, Caspar herb has been called “the mystery of Europe”. A large number of papers on him have been published for more than a century. Now, he has become a proper term in psychology, especially the abnormal physiological and psychological phenomena caused by social isolation.

This is a real event. In 1974, Wiener Herzog, a young German director at that time, put the event on the screen and filmed the mystery of gas herb. The film became one of his masterpieces and won the jury award of Cannes Film Festival the next year.

Among the leaders of the “new German film movement” at that time, Herzog was the most philosopher. His films were obviously the product of “theme first” and extremely stylized. He always chose some characters or events other than human life experience and understanding of civilization and placed them in an extreme situation that kept a distance from human experience, Reflect on the insurmountable weaknesses of mankind itself. “I show what I see in the film, and others have never seen or recognized it,” he said So, the director who inherited the Germanic rational tradition saw something that no one had seen in this real story?

First of all, he saw people’s indifference and selfishness through Caspar’s eyes. For more than a hundred years, Caspar has only existed in the database of human civilization as the object of scientific research. For “normal” people, he is an incomprehensible mystery, a freak for people to visit, an animal with complete hands and feet, but he is not a person, so there is no need to treat him according to human standards. He was placed to sleep in a stable or put in prison. Gentlemen and officers in decent clothes checked every scar, joint and muscle of his body like animals, and tested his physiological and psychological reactions with sword and fire, just to have an accurate record in line with scientific requirements, Because Caspar is such a rare specimen. Pascal’s finger was burned by the fire, and his pain made him cry, which attracted the loud laughter of the onlookers. This may be the first time he shed tears as a human being, which made him understand for the first time: born as a human being, pain comes not only from physical trauma, but also from spiritual humiliation. After completing the scientific records, Pascal was no longer useful. In order to remove the burden, people handed him over to the circus as a monster to make money. A living person, no matter how special his identity is, does not have the minimum living conditions and dignity, and the compassion born will never be imposed on him. Can such a group still be called “normal”?

When the British nobles were ready to adopt Caspar, what annoyed the noble master was that Caspar didn’t know how to appreciate his kindness. There was no decent words commensurate with the noble’s elegance in public. He went alone to knit a sweater and do the work that only the next person can do. The noble master can only say: “I don’t understand, I don’t understand.” Does he really want to adopt a dry son, not to satisfy his “benevolent” vanity and provide a chance for gentlemen and ladies of high society to hunt for wonders? Caspar was pure and natural. When the old teacher explained to him that the people around him cared about him, he revealed the secret: “these people are like wolves.”

Perhaps, for a normal person who has nothing, as we see in the great classical literature tradition, we can see Caspar’s indifference and selfishness. Kaspar’s more important significance is to let Herzog see the shadow behind the civilization and progress that mankind is proud of. As soon as Kaspar came to society, he had a natural human nature. Then, we watched him be asked to understand human order and civilization bit by bit. This innocence was polluted and strangled bit by bit. Until when he couldn’t understand these and threatened the established order, someone finally killed him. The murderer is not a person, but represents this morbid civilization. After Caspar’s death, people have to look for evidence of deformity from him to prove their health.

The purpose of civilization is for the well-being and progress of mankind and to make people live a more humane life. In the film, Herzog obviously took great pains to carefully arrange three exchanges between Caspar and the so-called civilization, which makes us see that civilization has become a hypocritical decoration and a murderous weapon. For the first time, the church representing human sacred values and emotions came to poor Caspar to witness the greatness of God. The priest was full of hope that he was born with God in the dark kiln. Caspar said, “I didn’t think about anything there. I can’t imagine that God created everything without using anything.” The second time, the philosophy professor representing science and wisdom gave Caspar a logical problem and wanted to use his failure to increase the brilliance of science. Caspar responded to the arrogant professor with an unusually naive and popular answer. Ironically, the maid understood Caspar’s truth and didn’t know what the professor’s answer was. The third time, the secular society hoped that he would be grateful for people’s “kindness” and the beautiful scenery in the world. Caspar, who has experienced the life of “civilized people” for several years, completely denied the cold world: “for me, I came to this world in a terrible autumn.” Seeing here, you will understand that Caspar is destined to be an exception and will not be tolerated by the society.

The night was deep, the fields were silent, and the dark green grass and trees were vaguely silent like human compassion. The father who carried him out and was about to abandon him in the city dressed in black and sat with his back to the camera in the middle of the picture, like a majestic and cold tower. Caspar in the foreground lay prone to the ground, looking so innocent and helpless. Perhaps, when vulnerable and marginal individuals need help, society is such a cold and dignified tower.

Nevertheless, Herzog is not a radical pagan. He still puts tenderness into human fraternity and traditional values. If not, I don’t think he will render Caspar’s dirty and confused life in the underground kiln in detail with a long lens of extreme calm and restraint. After all, the innocence of human nature does not mean ignorance. Moreover, the peasant couple who first took care of Kaspar, their lovely children, as well as the great compassionate old teacher and his maid, their feelings for Kaspar are so familiar and kind in our eyes, that is relatives and relatives, brothers and brothers, parents and children. Herzog’s spearhead is always against the alienated and rotten civilization.

The photographic style of the film is also worth mentioning. Another famous work of Herzog, akire, God’s anger, uses an adventure story to metaphor human beings’ extremely inflated ambition of conquest and desire for power. The perspective of the lens is very subjective, just like the protagonist’s bulging eyeballs like the desire of conquest. The characters’ tense expressions and exaggerated body language are shown in the lens, Even the vast mountains and surging rivers are wild, like the materialization of human desire. In the mystery of gas herb, he used naturalistic shooting techniques. In most cases, he used a long lens with a fixed position, with little movement and zoom and fast cutting, consciously kept a distance from the characters and events, calmly put Caspar and the people and environment around him into his eyes, and let the audience see and understand for themselves, It is entirely because his purpose is to present the attitude of the whole society towards Caspar and reflect on this attitude. The so-called literary indefinite method serves the thought. Two distinct styles have achieved his two masterpieces. For example, the two minute long scene at the end of the film: after dissecting Caspar’s body, the clerk made the record, the camera looked at him from across the street, contentedly came out of the house and waved for the carriage, but only let the coachman take his hat home, and he had to walk home, because “this is a memorable day”, he had to be different from usual. They just found abnormal shapes in Caspar’s brain and liver, “it’s great that we can finally explain this strange man.”. The camera slowly shook 90 degrees to the right, quietly looked at this funny figure, talked to himself, followed behind the carriage to the depths of the city along the slate road between the houses. Science and indifference finally won the victory over this poor inhuman.

From time to time, there are some empty mirrors without people, vast fields, silent trees, swaying water and grass, a white swan in the dark night, a shadowed roof and a foggy distant mountain. The lens is quietly fixed there, with beautiful composition and desolate artistic conception, emitting a strange charm. Some I understand, such as the Swan quietly hidden in the shade of the tree before Caspar’s death. Most of them don’t understand. Maybe they don’t have deep meaning, but I believe they have their own feelings. They make your eyes and thoughts stop involuntarily, don’t think of anything, and feel that something quietly enters your heart.

At the beginning of the film, there was a long mirror for nearly a minute. The withered and yellow reeds could not be seen under the cloudy sky. They rose and fell one after another under the strong wind, such as rough waves and rolling. What kind of world is this! Then he gave a subtitle: “didn’t you hear the terrible sounds around? The shouting man asked for silence.” At the end of the film, Caspar said before he died that he had a dream. A knight led a camel team across the desert and saw the mountains ahead and lost his way. The blind old guide tasted a handful of yellow sand on the ground and said: you are wrong. It is not a mountain, but your illusion. We have to go north. They followed the guide and found the city in the north. Caspar said, “this is the beginning of the story. I don’t know what happened after they arrived in that city.” Will it be the garden of Eden or Sodom swallowed up by the flame of God?

One head and one tail, ears don’t listen, eyes don’t see. Herzog is really well intentioned. I seem to have heard Luo Dayou’s song “blind and deaf”:

The wall of the underpass asked who was blind and deaf today

The old fortune teller is excessively favored by ignorant people

The word of the prophet comes from the air. Does it enter your ears

The tide and the sound of cicadas

——It was hazy

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