Tonight at 7 pm, Werner Herzog will be directing a live performance by The Killers as part of the American Express Unstaged series. To prepare, I guess, the German auteur made a short documentary about the Las Vegas-based band that, though only seven minutes long, unmistakably bears Herzog’s touch.
“You do have coyotes in the middle of Los Angeles. Do you have wild donkeys on the Strip once in a while?” Herzog asks Brandon Flowers, the band’s frontman, at one point, with his always delightful accent. “A bighorn sheep at Caesar’s Palace?” Of course this is the sort of question the director, both fascinated and repelled by nature, would ask. By its end, Herzog has turned an otherwise slight “meet the band” video into a meditation on artifice and the American West—just check out that long final shot of the creepy animatronic cowboy, mechanically singing away behind a contemporary Las Vegas crooner.
While I’m sorry we didn’t get an extended conversation between Flowers and Herzog about Mormonism, what we do get isn’t bad. Check it out below.