Join 3,494 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Werner Herzog Reads Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel
February 11, 2010 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Werner Herzog Reads Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel
posted by jcruelty (21 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's my daughter's favorite story, along with Danny and the Dinosaur.
posted by Balisong at 8:59 PM on February 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


That's my daughter's favorite director, along with Wim Wenders.
posted by koeselitz at 9:08 PM on February 11, 2010 [15 favorites]


Having loved that story as a child, and as a fan of Herzog, I enjoyed this immensely. The one place where the tone was a bit off was when he mentioned something about destroying the American landscape - the real Herzog hates nature, and would have found the usage of the shovel to destroy the natural landscape one of the few admirable qualities of the story.
posted by idiopath at 9:17 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


At the end of this reading, I was more than a little distraught. This was one of my favorite books when I was little. First "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" gets twisted into film form, and now this..
posted by hanoixan at 9:18 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry, joke, and no offense, of course, to Balisong - I unfortunately do not have the honor of having a daughter. Though, when I do, I am certain that, while Mike Mulligan will be high on my list of stories to read with her, and while we might watch some Wim Wenders movies, I don't think I'll let her see Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes until she's at least 18.
posted by koeselitz at 9:33 PM on February 11, 2010


This was fantastic. I clicked through half hoping for an actual reading by actual Werner Herzog, lingered for a moment expecting a sort of lame joke, and found myself enthralled by just how perfect it was. Thank you. Also, don't miss Curious George from the same series.
posted by moss at 9:40 PM on February 11, 2010


Perfect. I must share with my nieces and nephews immediately.
posted by maxwelton at 10:42 PM on February 11, 2010


double, sort of
posted by zsazsa at 10:45 PM on February 11, 2010


In Ramona the Pest (published 1968) the teacher got flustered when Ramona and the other kids wanted to know when Mike went to the bathroom.

If a kid asked me this today I would tell him/her Mike brought a jar to pee in and didn't have to poop that day.
posted by brujita at 10:48 PM on February 11, 2010


My favorite book. I should have my mom read it aloud again.
posted by parmanparman at 12:19 AM on February 12, 2010


In the Curious George one, when he calls the hat "an alien trinket, of unimaginable cultural significance", that's so spot-on perfect Herzogness in all ways that it actually made me laugh out loud.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:48 AM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aw shucks, I was expecting it to actually be read by Werner Herzog.
posted by dunkadunc at 1:53 AM on February 12, 2010


I'm waiting for the follow up "Katy and the Big Snow."
posted by drezdn at 4:17 AM on February 12, 2010


this is brilliant, and really does reveal some creepy edges to the kids book, which i think i found creepy even as a kid
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:06 AM on February 12, 2010


While we're talking Herzog, I just saw Encounters at the End of the World. Brilliant film.
posted by Outlawyr at 7:23 AM on February 12, 2010


Christopher Walken reads Goodnight Moon - "Please, children, scootch closer. Don't make me tell you again about the scootching. You, in the red, chop chop."
posted by filthy light thief at 7:56 AM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel like this must be the definitive herzog monologue. It was even sampled in a clouddead song.

and this is one of my favorite herzog monologues, from Wheel Of Time. "protecting no one from not much of a crowd." heh. it's one of herzog'd gifts, documentary wise, to be able to latch onto the one seemingly-insignificant thing and find it's greater significance. and accidentally make a really funny joke.
posted by shmegegge at 8:49 AM on February 12, 2010


Perfect. I must share with my nieces and nephews immediately.

Only if you first have them come into the room and sit them down on a couch facing you. Then, turn the computer screen away from them and towards yourself and put the headphones in. Watch the video in silence, slowly shaking your head as the children eyes lean closer and closer to you. Take the headphones off slowly and look at them. "You must never watch this," you say as you put your hand on their knees. "Promise me you will never watch this."
posted by Corduroy at 9:03 AM on February 12, 2010 [7 favorites]


"At this point in the story, the author encourages her readers to visit the new town hall in Popperville, but the story was copyrighted in 1939, the town hall would now be far from new, and Mike Mulligan is almost certainly now dead."

Wonderful.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:44 AM on February 12, 2010


“Only if you first have them come into the room and sit them down on a couch facing you. Then, turn the computer screen away from them and towards yourself and put the headphones in. Watch the video in silence, slowly shaking your head as the children eyes lean closer and closer to you. Take the headphones off slowly and look at them. ‘You must never watch this,’ you say as you put your hand on their knees. ‘Promise me you will never watch this.’”

Hee hee. You're reminding me distinctly of this Wenders-'directed' interview of Herzog, which I've always found both interesting and somewhat amusing. "I think I'll begin by taking off my shoes." That makes me laugh every time.

In fact, I mentioned Wenders above partially because I first decided that Herzog is a crazy tendentious crank whilst watching Wenders' beautiful little Ozu-inspired travelogue Tokyo-Ga, in which Herzog proclaims, from the top of a tower in Tokyo, that he is going to board the space shuttle and take his camera to the stars, for there is nothing authentic to film anymore here on earth because of the modernist development and capitalization of every square inch of our surroundings. This also simultaneously showed me how much more awesome Wim Wenders is, because Wenders' response is something like: "I don't know about all that. The thing is, I still really like trains."
posted by koeselitz at 1:28 PM on February 12, 2010


This is actually pretty bad. It sounds nothing like Werner Herzog. They don't even get the German accent right - let alone the timber of Werner's voice. Sort of pointless.
posted by Rashomon at 3:53 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


« Older The Big Picture: Olympic Torch Relay...  |  Google has invented the Holode... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments