Comic Adaptation Week: Werner Herzog's Gardens of Aedena

Gardens of Aedena begins in the future, with the basically sexless characters Atan and Stel. It's the kind of future we're used to seeing: metal spheres, ugly machinery, weird skull caps, etc. The story slowly moves to something else altogether--the titular gardens--which are something more natural, but no less mysterious and harsh. When Atan and Stel are dropped in the garden, the story turns to a realization of their human condition within the context of their foreign selves.

This is where Herzog would bring his fierce intelligence, and unromantic view of human nature to the story, a kind of futuristic, Teutonic Adam and Eve redux. I picture him really emphasizing the sexuality of the story--the fierce emotions--as well as the wonder of Moebius' naturalistic future and kinda cutting to the chase in his own way, removing some of the weird, towards-the-end "action" of the book, but retaining Moebius' "sitting around and chilling" tone. Think of all the purposeful downtime in Aguirre or Fitzcarraldo.

But more importantly, Herzog is qualified to take on a Moebius comic is because he wouldn’t cut corners when it came to visual representation…and I’m not talking computer graphics. He would travel all over the world to find the perfect wonderfully natural locations and he wouldn’t skimp on the eventual nudity or even the SPACE--which I would like to imagine would be elaborate, naturalistic sets. This is the guy who recently shot a movie in Antarctica. Who took a whole filmmaking team to Peru for Aguirre. Who visited am erupting volcano for La Soufrière. Who really did pull a boat over a mountain for Fitzcarraldo. He'd go any and everywhere to recreate Moebius' imaginative worlds.

It would also be great to see Herzog pick up a comic book adaptation because even though he has never done it before, I feel like he would really understand adapting it, while respecting the already in place visual representation. He has an appreciation of making things as real and as fantastic as they need to be, often shown in his admittedly, embellished documentary style. What he calls "ecstatic truth"--an apt way of describing the goals of Moebius' work too.


Anonymous said...

Nah you got this one all wrong. Hayao Miyazaki all the way. Plus he's rumored to actual do it.


Love your blog by the way...

brandon said...

"Nausicaa" is sort of a Moebius rip already. Doing it with animation seems too easy and cheap. And there's a pleasant-ness to Miyazaki that would miss out on the some of the harsher, non-melodramatic aspects of Moebius' stuff.

Ubik said...

I agree with you about Nausicaa, but in all honesty i'd HATE to see a live action version because it would be CGI heavy crapola. Look at Enki Bilals Immortal, ugh what a turd.

david e. ford, jr said...

yeah, but see that's what monique pointed out about herzog, is that he precisely WOULD NOT sink to using CGI. if you've ever spent any time seeing what herzog says about his approach to filmmaking, you know that he is almost literally willing to turn the world inside out in order to find NEW IMAGES. this is why he--unnecessarily, by most reasoned points of view--took a whole film crew to south american jungles--TWICE--spent countless months and millions in efforts to find the images that others would use movie magic to create. so basically, you're right, except herzog is sorta the exception to normal filmmaking practice

Monique R. said...

Let my heavy hand weigh in here---

The point is...Miyazaki doing this would be obvious--he's a great animated motion picture maker. The reason I chose Herzog is because I want it to be LIVE action...Allowing Miyazaki to do it would be blasphemous to the art of Moebius... would be like saying you wanted someone to do a comic book book of like the Labyrinth-- there's just no way whatever drawn image they do will ever compete with David Bowie's character in the movie---yes, I'm LOLing at myself here. But, yeah.

Herzog F T W.