From the press notes for the utterly baffling, upcoming new film Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, which is not a remake of the Harvey Keitel classic. Starring Nicolas Cage and directed by — no, seriously — Werner Herzog.
Here’s what Herzog — who’s easily on my list of 10 people I’d like to have dinner with someday — has to say to any early critics who might dare comment on the project.
It does not bespeak great wisdom to call the film The Bad Lieutenant, and I only agreed to make the film after William (Billy) Finkelstein, the screenwriter, who had seen a film of the same name from the early nineties, had given me a solemn oath that this was not a remake at all. But the film industry has its own rationale, which in this case was the speculation of starting some sort of a franchise. I have no problem with this. Nevertheless, the pedantic branch of academia, the so called “film-studies,” in its attempt to do damage to cinema, will be ecstatic to find a small reference to that earlier film here and there, though it will fail to do the same damage that academia — in the name of literary theory — has done to poetry, which it has pushed to the brink of extinction. Cinema, so far, is more robust. I call upon the theoreticians of cinema to go after this one. Go for it, losers.
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