Saturday, August 31, 2013

God's Angry Man

Dr. Gene Scott is mad as hell and (R.I.P.) he's not taking it any more!

GOD'S ANGRY MAN (FERNSEPREDIGER)
Directed by Werner Herzog
(West Germany, 1981, 16mm, color, 45 minutes)
This is an amazing one of a kind documentary that probably could only have been made by Werner Herzog. - Documentary Heaven


I recently found this unusual film while boxing up my treasures in anticipation of an imminent move. I only have a crappy low-res black-and-white bootleg of this documentary (filmed at a theater screening - you can hear the 16mm film projector running!) about the indescribable televangelist Dr. Gene Scott (August 14, 1929-February 21, 2005), but am elated that a few discerning fans have uploaded it to the Internet, like the folks at the wonderful site Documentary Heaven (documentaryheaven.com), where the 45-minute unreleased documentary can be watched in its entirety in six nine-minute segments.

Click here to watch God's Angry Man on Documentary Heaven's site.

God's Angry Man is also available online at YouTube, where someone named novoiluminismo has posted the German-language film version in its entirely (with Herzog himself providing his inimicable, soothingly Teutonic narration), as shown below:


God's Angry Man (43:45)

The film consists mainly of interviews with Scott and his parents and selected clips from his television show Festival of Faith; the highlight is undoubtedly the wind-up toy marching band Scott rechristened "The F.C.C. Monkey Band."

The F.C.C. Monkey Band
The more the merrier: The F.C.C. Monkey Band


From Documentary Heaven's capsule review:



This is a portrait of Dr Gene Scott a televangelist who ran into problems with the FCC in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. Scott was eventually shut down, briefly, by the FCC. The documentary, which consists of little more than interviews with Scott and clips from his show [Festival of Faith], doesn’t really deal with the reasons why the FCC was after him, rather it tries simply to show a man on a mission trying to save people while battling his inner demons.

This is an amazing one of a kind documentary that probably could only have been made by Werner Herzog. Herzog isn’t interested in showing anything other than the man. There is no judgment as to what Scott is all about, there is just Scott talking to Herzog and to his audience. The result is a portrait of a man on a mission, who is doing what he feels to be right. The result is that you walk away from the film feeling that you’ve just met a real person and not a manufactured man of god.
Perhaps Herzog was drawn to Scott because of this "man on a mission, who is doing what he feels to be right" aesthetic, one eerily similar to that of Klaus Kinski's mad conquisdator character in Herzog's classic feature film Aquirre, the Wrath of God (1972).

San Francisco's answer to New York City's Spy Magazine was The Nose, and years ago they ran a terrific feature on the world's angriest televangelist (which I also stumbled across while packing!), as shown below.







See also:
Dr. Gene Scott - God's Angry Man tribute site (www.godsangryman); "He will not be forgotten by the saints  he made aware - God speed DOC!"

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