Werner Herzog directs a mini-documentary about The Killers
September 22, 2012 1:55 AM   Subscribe

Spot the moments when they realise they're through the looking glass and having their Spinal Tap moment and the implications of having Werner Herzog make a documentary about them means he's not going to ask you the simple questions.

Also, so that's who Brandon Flowers is.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:59 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

The AV Club has a nice post pointing to this.

This means that "The Killers" can be added to a history of bleak subjects that Herzog has explored, their futile human struggle to flourish in the sand and desolation of Las Vegas no different from any who toils pointlessly against lands that mean to kill them.

posted by Isn't in each artist (7) at 3:47 AM on September 22, 2012 [7 favorites]

Also, so that's who Brandon Flowers is.

Also, cornerback for the Chiefs.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:21 AM on September 22, 2012

I'd be interested to know what Herzog's connection/interest in the Killers is. I thought it was pretty meh, except for watching the bass player squirm.
posted by thinkpiece at 5:39 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

It's virtually always interesting (or provocative) to learn what Herzog's connection/interest in relation to a topic is.
posted by mr. digits at 6:14 AM on September 22, 2012

"It's real to me, damn it."
posted by incandissonance at 6:27 AM on September 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

I learned that The Killers are from Las Vegas, and that totally put them in perspective for me. Brandon Flowers projects the maturity of a ten year-old boy.
posted by Evstar at 7:42 AM on September 22, 2012

Also, the robo-cowboy is the dancing chicken for a new generation.
posted by Evstar at 7:49 AM on September 22, 2012

I have no more interest in the band than I did before watching... But damn the robocowboy was a tiny cinematographic miracle.
posted by Erroneous at 8:20 AM on September 22, 2012

I don't care what you think of the band, but if this remix of Mr Brightside doesn't put you in a happy place, you aren't human.
posted by empath at 8:23 AM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

No albino crocodiles, no dice
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:42 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

***Werner Herzog takes off headphones***

"You must never listen to this."
posted by Rangeboy at 9:36 AM on September 22, 2012 [28 favorites]

... I thought it was pretty meh, except for watching the bass player squirm.

Same reaction. Herzog is a master of the documentary film and this doesn't measure up - but then, maybe he just did it for the $$$ and it was never meant to amount to anything.
posted by oxidizer at 9:45 AM on September 22, 2012

I bet he was disappointed to find out they weren't, you know, actually killers.
posted by tommasz at 9:47 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Sigh. I was so excited because I thought you were talking about the movie. Or the other movie. Based on the short story by Hemingway. All of which are awesome.
posted by nushustu at 9:48 AM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

I wonder if Werner Herzog cultivates his dzerman akzent.
But then the originally Dutch computer scientist Erik Meijer has been working in California for more than 10 years and he still sounds as if he never left the polders.
So you can be very smart and a bit dumb when it comes to pronunciation of foreign languages.

Btw this Werner Herzog clip is part of a streaming Youtube concert sponsored by American Express.

I guess the idea of the mini documentary was that Herzog would do a Scorsese on the Killers. It seems they are not very sex and drugs. And Herzog is a very ironic film maker. So maybe that wasn't such a great idea.

Personally I like the Killers. Here in the Netherlands we had an au pair from North-Carolina staying with us to take care of our baby. Apparently she came from a very religious background. As is very common in the US south I understand. And being an au pair was a way for her to be close to her Dutch boyfriend whom she met online through Facebook.
She really liked When You Were Young by the Killers. And although I'm a middle aged geezer as I listened to that song I did feel the glow of the incredible longing I used to feel as a teenager. As I imagine she did when it came out.
To me that's the most important quality of pop music: evoking that intense sense of longing. And the music of the Killers can do that for me.
posted by joost de vries at 10:13 AM on September 22, 2012 [4 favorites]

That's a strong endorsement, joost -- I'm going to have to consider their oeuvre on Grooveshark/Youtube, I guess.
posted by mr. digits at 10:18 AM on September 22, 2012

"This town is entirely fake, right?"
"It's real to me, man." (a little attitude starts, then quickly collapses)
posted by msalt at 10:21 AM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

It is kind of interesting: Ian Curtis from Joy Division was watching Herzog's Stroszek right before his suicide, which is depicted in the movie Control, the soundtrack for which included The Killers.
posted by 4ster at 10:36 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

I first heard the Killers in 2005 on MTV in a Las Vegas hotel, sleeping in late with friends and ordering pizza during my first real Vegas, ehm, "experience". I had no idea who they were or that they were a local band, but I bought Hot Fuss shortly after and still think it's an excellent album. Solid lyrics and plenty of angsty energy, and the songs are all catchy as hell.

The linked video is awkward, sure, but what else would you expect? Herzog is clearly going for the hollowness angle but, I don't know, here it comes across as almost mean.

2005 was the height of the pre-ression building boom and on that same trip I went jogging with my friend through some of the local parks a little ways off the strip. There were a lot of real people out playing playing little league and spending time with their families and generally living real lives thanks to the vacuous glitz of the casinos and shows. Vegas is easy to dismiss as fake, but I find myself rooting for the band members in the video when they struggle to find some redeeming value in it all. As a product of the city, they kind of have to, don't they?

Anyway, I certainly don't listen to Herzog recordings when I go jogging.
posted by ropeladder at 11:11 AM on September 22, 2012 [1 favorite]

Needs a "grotesque charade of the inauthentic" tag.
posted by carter at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2012 [3 favorites]

Their newest album is decent. The Killers started as poppy-dancey disco rock, then in their second album went all Bruce Springsteen-shaped, in the third pulled back a little towards poppy, and in the newest is Springsteeny again.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2012

It's difficult to escape the place you came from.

I like the killers. Judging by the snark here I was afraid to watch the video lest I lose my respect for them. I didn't, and I thought this little mini-docu was good. Especially interesting for me was the bit about not realizing that Las Vegas was different from anywhere else. Also, watching them drive through the amazing landscape of the American Southwest.

Why does Brandon Flowers' maturity only measure up to a ten year old boy? =[
posted by meows at 12:08 PM on September 22, 2012

For extra Ian Curtis connection, check out this excellent cover of Shadowplay.
Fair Warning: By excellent, I mean that it will probably offend most JD fans and new wave purists. I quite like The Killers, and JD so, there you go.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:11 PM on September 22, 2012

This guy used to roam around jungles with a hand held camera making movies with Klaus Kinski and dragging fucking steamboats over mountains and now he's riding around in a convertible in Las Vegas with some dingbat pop band.

I guess everyone gets old.
posted by xmutex at 3:32 PM on September 22, 2012 [2 favorites]

"Next kvestion:Vai does zee masterink on Sam's Town suck so, so badlee?"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 4:37 AM on September 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just want to say that this video, by a German director, a German cinematic hero, actually, featured on a band's own YouTube channel, apparently published by the band themselves, is not available to view in Germany for copyright reasons.

posted by sixohsix at 5:54 AM on September 23, 2012

“Look into the eyes of YouTube and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. It is the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creature in the world.”
posted by njloof at 1:16 AM on September 24, 2012

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