The House That Jack Built (2018)
Bruno Ganz: Verge
Verge : Why are they always so stupid?
Jack : Who's stupid?
Verge : All the women you killed, strike me as seriously unintelligent.
Jack : I've also killed men.
Verge : But you only talk about the stupid women. Unless you think all women are stupid.
Jack : Well, the stories I've told were selected at random, but...
Verge : You feel superior to women and want to brag. It turns you on, doesn't it Jack?
Jack : No, no. But women are easier, not physically, they're just easier to work with. More cooperative.
Verge : To kill, you mean?
Jack : If you like. Mr. Sophistication believes in that theory.
Verge : So... Mr. Sophistication is the theoretician?
Jack : Imagine a man walking down a street underneath the street lamps. Right under a lamp, is shadow is the densest but also the tiniest. Then, when he starts to move, his shadow grows in front of him. The shadow becomes bigger and bigger while it thins out. And the shadow behind him from the next lamp post emerges and becomes shorter and shorter until it reaches its ultimate density, as the man stands directly underneath the light. Let's say that the man standing underneath the first lamp post is me when I've just committed a murder. I feel strong and content. I start to walk, and the shadow in front of me grows bigger, like my pleasure. But at the same time, pain is on its way, represented by the shadow behind me from the next lamp post. And at the midpoint between the lamp posts, the pain is so great it outweighs my pleasure. And with every step forward, pleasure dissolves and pain intensifies behind me. Finally, the pain is so unbearably intense that I have to act. So when I reach the point with the next lamp in zenith, I will kill again.
Verge : I know you want to be someone special, Jack, but let's face it, this illustration can be used for any addict's tale of woe. The alcoholic empties the bottle at the zenith etc, etc. But what about the family?
Jack : Albert Speer invented "The Theory of Ruin Value" by examining the Greek and Roman ruins, and constructed his buildings using both weaker and stronger materials so that they, in a thousand years, would appear as aesthetically perfect ruins.
Verge : Which fortunately were smashed to atoms in mere few years after their construction. Hubris is punished by nemesis if I may use an old-fashioned expression.
Jack : But an artist must be cynical and not worry about the welfare of humans or Gods in his art. This talks about the value of ruins makes it too obvious, not to mention, another subject. The value of icons.
Jack : The Stuka. Without a doubt the world's most beautiful airplane and to top it off featuring an eerily sophisticated detail. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
Verge : No, by God that has never interested me but do tell me about it.
Jack : The Stuka was a dive-bomber. They say that the pilots actually passed out for a brief moment during the actual dive.
Verge : But the detail, per favore.
Jack : Fantastic. Incomparable. Notice the sound when the plane dives.
Verge : The screeching sound. A result of poor design if you ask me.
Jack : Poor design? Please. On the contrary, the screeching was intrinsic sirens were attached to the undercarriage of the plane purposely designed as a psychological act of war. No one who heard it in action will ever forget that sound. It made the blood run cold in everyone's veins. Know as Jericho's Trumpet.
Verge : Sadistic, but in your eyes probably a masterpiece.
Jack : No, more than a masterpiece. An icon. The person or persons, who conceived the Stuka and its functions were icon-creators. What I'm getting at is this: As disinclined as the world is to acknowledge the beauty of decay it's just as disinclined to give credit to those... no, credit to us, who create the real icons of this planet. We are deemed the ultimate evil. All the icons that have had and always will have an impact in the world are for me extravagant art.
Jack : The noble rot.
Verge : STOP IT... YOU ANTICHRIST! I DON'T RECALL EVER HAVING ESCORTED A SO THOROUGHLY DEPRAVED PERSON AS YOU, JACK. Since you have now apparently set your heart in mass extermination let me make a brief comment about the Buchenwald camp that emphasises my attitude towards art and love.
Verge : In the middle of this concentration camp stood a tree and not just any old tree, but an oak and not just any oak, but the one Goethe when he was young, sat beneath and wrote some of humanity's most important works. Goethe. Here you can talk about masterpieces and the value of icons! The personification of humanism, dignity, culture and goodness was by the irony of faith suddenly present in the middle of one of the all time greatest crimes against humanity.
Jack : I can tell you're lapping it up when I tell you about Mr. Sophistication: "So, Jack hears voices that order him to do this, or do that, Jack must be psychotic!". I loathe diagnoses you can just write down in letters.
Verge : That's not fair. The letters are clear. They look after us, don't create boundaries between good and evil, and they carry religion.
Jack : Religion has ruined human beings, because your God teaches people to deny the tiger in themselves. Turns us all into a throng of slaves, too shameful to acknowledge it.
Verge : Oh Jack, you should have read the right letters in your life, but you didn't want to.