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Film / Stroszek

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Werner Herzog film about street musician Bruno Stroszek and his friends. Bruno, Scheitz and Eva are down on their luck. They move to Wisconsin to escape Eva's abusive pimps. Unfortunately, they aren't quite able to make it in America.


Stroszek has examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Bruno's alcoholism is the source of many of his problems.
  • All Devouring Black Hole Loan Sharks: Actually, ordinary bank workers just doing their jobs.
  • As Himself: Bruno Stroszek is basically a thinly veiled version of his actor Bruno Schleinstein. Most of the other actors with the exception of Eva Mattes qualify as well.
  • Author Appeal: Inverted. The ending makes a little bit more sense if you know that director Werner Herzog has a crippling fear of chickens.
  • Ax-Crazy: The pimps whom Eva owes money to are violent lunatics who delight in beating and humiliating their victims.
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  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Scheitz and Bruno. But especially Scheitz.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Bruno grew up in an Orphanage of Fear run by the Nazis where the boys were subjected to beatings and public humiliation. No wonder he's an alcoholic who's spent most of his life in and out of jail.
  • Downer Ending: Bruno loses Eva who ditches him for trucker drivers, his trailer to the bank, Scheitz who gets arrested for robbing a barber shop (which Bruno participated in), and at the end of the movie kills himself.
  • Eagle Land: Ultimately averted. The Power Trio's relationships with America as a place and Americans as a people are complicated.
  • Flyover Country: The trio settles in an especially bleak part of Wisconsin.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Turns out Wisconsin sucks.
  • Gainax Ending: After being a slow drama for an entire film, the ending centers on a chicken dancing to Sonny Terry.
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  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Eva.
  • Kick the Dog: The bank auction of Bruno's trailer as he sadly watches even if there is no malice.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The playful melody of the song Bruno sings is at odds with the often downbeat lyrics.
  • Nostalgic Musicbox: An actual one, and the sounds of them.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: There are few professional actors in the movie.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Bruno grew up in one run by the Nazis.
  • Power Trio: Superego: Scheitz, Ego: Bruno, Id: Eva.
  • Regional Riff: Chet Atkins starts playing as the Power Trio gets used to America.
  • The Rez: The ending takes place on a reservation.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Bruno, probably literally.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Not so bad as some films, but it isn't accidental that the alcoholic Bruno sings a song about a woman who is exploited by an alcoholic.
  • Talent Double: Averted since Bruno was an accomplished street musician by the time.
  • Third-Person Person: Bruno.

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