For the Love of Caruso

The answer, of course, is rubber baron/

opera fanatic Klaus Kinski, and both the steamship and the Peruvian mountain are real in Fitzcarraldo, which begins this Wednesday-night repertory trifecta (through Dec. 19) honoring Werner Herzog, Terrence Malick, and Howard Hawks. (On Halloween, F.W. Murnau’s silent Nosferatu shares the bill with Herzog’s 1979 remake—with Kinski in suitably freakish vampire mode.) In the 1982 Fitzcarraldo, Kinski has the most ridiculous German-Irish accent ever deployed on-screen; it’s hard to understand what the hell Claudia Cardinale sees in him, but none of that ultimately matters. Herzog’s collision between Old World and New isn’t so tragic as in Aguirre: The Wrath of God (playing Nov. 7). Instead, there’s a kind of breathtaking majesty to the indifference of nature when confronted with civilization. Undaunted, Kinski’s craziness achieves a kind of grandeur—almost as big as Caruso’s voice.

Wed., Oct. 24, 6:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2007

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