News & Politics

A Bruno S. Christmas


The Times treated us this Christmas to a profile of Bruno S. The peculiar, near-autistic star of Werner Herzog’s Kaspar Hauser and Stroszek in the ’70s has since then, as the paper put it, “dropped down the memory chute,” and it is not surprising to learn that, as he had before his brief, weird celebrity, the now grey-haired and puffy Bruno is supplementing his government assistance with money contributed by passers-by moved by his street-singing and accordion playing. The orphan prodigy is still given to poetic utterances (“when your mother town is estranged from you, death can’t be too far away”), and lives in the same mental and physical clutter in which we imagined him a quarter-century ago. It’s sort of comforting to know that Herzog, whom it was once suggested had exploited Bruno, left him pretty much as he had found him.


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