One knight in particular stood out for me. As a result of my intrigue with another actor, may he RIP, in his portrayal as Aguirre in Aguirre, the wrath of god, I was dumbstruck when I saw Klaus Kinsky's double on screen. Kinski was German born, whose life story includes everything from womanizing, a stint as a real Nazi capture by allied forces, his transition into the movie industry, and god knows what else. It was his eyes, in "Aguirre" that hypnotically convinced me that I may be descended from a line of megalomaniacs, not to mention noble servitude, of course. So when I see that the character of Ivo, in Black death, is a soldier equally as heroic as his cohort knights bearing the fishtail cross, his mission to abolish the black plague becomes the center of attraction. His eyes sunken and pop-eyed as Kinski’s, his costume almost identical to Aguirre’s all but make me holla 'who is this fuck?' Tygo Gernandt. That’s who.
The overall conflict in this film is abolish the black plague, by any means, or find out what evil is behind it. But I can’t conceive how anybody who doesn't know what the black plague was could possibly get anything out of this movie without subtitles. From the moment Ivo enters the scene, I was prompted to rewind and turn subtitles on to get a better idea of what the hell everyone was talking about in their silly shakespearian vernacular.
Although Ivo doesn’t sustain a significant part throughout the movie, my mind forms it’s own conclusions as of his fate in the story. Personally, it puts things in perspective for me when I form what-ifs after every plot point that doesn’t contain Ivo as a running character (one of the main reasons I’m impelled to believe the megalomaniac lineage thing I spoke of earlier). This film is scheduled to be released in New York city this Friday, but my cable company thought I deserved a sneak peak. God knows I needed a lift after the antics that occurred at work today. The mere fact that nothing being released has piqued any interest in me for months seems to be kismet for the injustices of the world. Whenever my friend invites me over to watch a DVD, I can understand why she absolutely must have subtitles turned on. I would never have learned Tygo Gernandt’s character’s name without having read it in closed caption. It’s hard to take seriously the whining bitches running theatre houses when they complain about turning a profit. I stand firm on my idea that movie houses around the world should include the option for audiences to select subtitles. Theaters won’t even let a movie enthusiast sit thru a second showing if a paying customer missed a line or two as a result of chewing his nachos at the wrong time. It's obvious to me that theater houses have turned into nothing more than sobering spaces where the strung out can mellow a bit before the drive home.
The ending is a surprise. One would not expect a film to end like Black death ended. I believe a new movement is underway to end films in a fashion that best reflects the times we live in. If, for instance, it feels like we’re living in a depression but the news reports describe the economy as post recessionary, then movies must end on a good note, NOT. I loved this ending and it is definitely the reason I did not regret shutting off the TV early. What do I give this movie on a scale of one to ten? Thumbs down, in the middle ages when jousting was a thing of lavish, meant ‘good’ whereas a thumbs up meant the opposite of modern day interpretation. I give it an upside-down star, again and again and again. Go see it and laugh at the absurdity our ancestors were subjected to back in the good ol’ days.
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