Filmmaker Herzog is up against himself in Venice

Sat Sep 5, 2009 9:15am EDT
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By Mike Collett-White

VENICE (Reuters) - German director Werner Herzog is competing against himself at the Venice film festival this year with two pictures in the main lineup.

After presenting Nicolas Cage in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" earlier in the week, Herzog's second movie "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" has been named as the surprise film this year.

They are among 24 movies in the main competition lineup in Venice, which runs from September 2-12 and ends with the Golden Lion award for best picture.

"Venice never accepted any of my films into competition for four decades," Herzog told reporters.

"(Festival director) Marco Mueller saw 'Bad Lieutenant' and somehow as a side remark I said to him, 'Well I have yet another film', and he was completely enthusiastic about it and said, 'I need this film as well'."

"My Son" is based on a true story of a mentally disturbed man who murdered his mother and also happened to be an actor in a staging of Greek myth of Orestes, who also killed his mother.


Herzog said he met the man in California after he was released from a high-security mental institution, and decided to turn the story into a movie.   Continued...

<p>German film director Werner Herzog poses for photographers during a photocall at the 66th Venice Film Festival September 5, 2009. REUTERS/Tony Gentile</p>