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Beobachtungen zu einer neuen Sprache

Last night I was watching Herzog's short documentaries; one of them is How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck... -- Beobachtungen zu einer neuen Sprache, which is a record of the 1976 National Livestock Auctions championships. Interesting and fun! The auctioneer's cant always gets my blood going. (The above song is "The Auctioneer" by The Spark Gap Wonder Boys -- the movie has a similar thing going on, but even better because there are so many different auctioneers.)

Well -- a lot to say about this film but I didn't really get any of it sorted out. There are things that remind me of Stroszek, most obviously the auction scene but other stuff too, like the lovely performance of "Country Roads" midway through. The main thing was, I thought this documentary was a distillation of Herzog's fascination with language and idiom -- my favorite part was the beginning, when Herzog was interviewing some of the contestants. The camera just hung on their bodies and heads and watched them talking. They talk about how they got into auctioneering and how they learned the cant. Bonus that they came from a lot of different places in North America so you got to watch how their inflecions come through in the cant.

posted evening of December 10th, 2008: Respond
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