Werner Herzog’s relationship with the late Klaus Kinski is widely considered one of the most infamous, fucked-up partnerships in cinematic history. On-set tantrums, violent outbursts, terrorizing indigenous peoples, wanton gunplay, non-hyperbolic death threats—someone should really make a film about it, honestly. But when all was said and done, the iconic German director often insisted his relationship with his one-time muse was always based on artistic professionalism.
“People think we had a love-hate relationship. Well, I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We had mutual respect for each other, even as we both planned each other’s murder,” Herzog once famously recalled.
Like Herzog himself, allow us to ruminate on these very dynamics regarding humanity’s relationship with technology. Take, for instance, this video recently making the rounds depicting an airport transport vehicle loaded with beverages freaking the hell out on a tarmac, spinning wildly out of control as it edges ever closer towards colliding into a nearby plane. Given its size and speed, runway workers at Chicago’s O’Hare airport can do little else but watch in nervous anticipation, until, at the last second, a hero arrives.
Saddled astride another industrial-grade vehicle, the unnamed employee manages to plow into the careening service transport, averting an even bigger logistical (and financial) headache for everyone involved at the scene. The whole affair plays out like some meditative ballet or dystopian rodeo—a cosmic dance between man and machine depicting our mutual reliance, respect, and hatred of one another. Many on Twitter seem to share our sentiment, or, at least, they really dig watching kick-ass impromptu demolition derby on a Tuesday during their morning coffee break.
Okay, so maybe the honest reason we’re watching it over and over is because it’s metal as fuck, and more entertaining than pretty much any of this season’s summer blockbusters. After all, it was also Herzog who once said, “Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is, for me, intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.”
Ain’t that the damn existential truth?