Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

06 November 2005

Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman / Kinski, Aguirre, Herzog

I think I'm getting soft in my old age. I finished The Pillowman today. A play that is mostly about unforgiveable child murders (but is also about totalitarianism and childhood and moral quandaries where brutal art is concerned). said he loved The Pillowman and it is definitely poetic and lovely at times, as well as incredibly--almost impossibly--sad in places. But...

I guess I just don't deal too well with the brutality involved in the show. I am not having a reaction similar to my reaction to Sarah Kane's Cleansed, but a quieter, more ambivalent one. I think The Pillowman is, in some ways, necessary. It is certainly well-crafted and often moving. I think parts are hasty or strangely-phrased, but I mostly think it's a good play. I'm just not sure I'm glad that I've read. I'm not sure who would benefit from reading it. And my intestines squirm a little when I think about the images The Pillowman provided me.

Like I said: getting soft. I never used to have such difficult reactions to brutality and horror.

*

All that talk about Werner Herzog's 1972 film Aguirre, the Wrath of God being one of the best movies ever made is on the money. I finally watched it this morning. It's fascinating, totally crazy and beautiful to watch. Klaus Kinski looks absolutely insane and the shots of the Amazonian jungle are fabulous.