Beyond the Canon: Perfumed Nightmare + The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Sun, Mar 8, 2020
  • 4PM
MEMBERS: $8 (free for Level 4 and above)
+  Perfumed Nightmare will screen first, followed by The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
March 2020
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Sunday March 08, 2020
Performances no longer available.
Part of Film 2020 series Beyond the Canon
Perfumed Nightmare

Dir. Kidlat Tahimik
1977, 93min
With Tahimik, Mang Fely, Dolores Santamaria


This exhilaratingly imaginative DIY landmark of Filipino cinema—acclaimed by Werner Herzog as “one of the most original and poetic works of cinema made anywhere in the seventies”—stars director Kidlat Tahimik as a starry-eyed jitney driver obsessed with American culture (particularly its space program). During a sojourn in Paris, he gets a crash course in the failures of globalization. Shot through with offbeat wit and invention, Perfumed Nightmare wraps a cogent critique of Western capitalism in the guise of a surreal, satiric picaresque.

The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Dir. Werner Herzog
1974, 110min
With Bruno S., Walter Ladengast, Brigitte Mira


Werner Herzog’s deeply empathetic study of outsiderhood stars the great Bruno S., a troubled street musician whose soulful vulnerability lends poignant dimension to his indelible portrayal of the title character, a real-life 19th-century German foundling who was raised until the age of 17 in almost total isolation. As he is reintegrated into society, Hauser’s journey reveals the cruelties and hypocrisies of the supposedly “civilized” world. Look out for an appearance by Perfumed Nightmare director Kidlat Tahimik in a small role.

Perfumed Nightmare + The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
One struggle when viewing films from Asia in a Western setting, which seldom happens the other way around, is the tendency to compare the Asian filmmaker and his sensibility to a supposed European and American counterpart, hence Tahimik, in the 1970s and 1980s, would often be likened to Godard and other French New Wave directors.

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