Made by Syberberg immediately after Ludwig - Requiem for a Virgin King, Ludwig's Cook sets out to deal with some of the historical 'truths' about the fairytale monarch that the earlier film ignored. But Syberberg's approach is typically sly and oblique: Walter Sedlmayr (best known here as the grocer in Fear Eats the Soul) starts by taking us on a guided tour of Ludwig's castle, but soon slips into the role of Theodor Hierneis, who became Ludwig's head cook in 1882. And so everything that we learn about Ludwig comes from the (literal or metaphorical) perspective of his kitchens. The approach is a wonderfully subversive corrective to the orthodox histories, and at the same time a starting-point for a fascinating reflection on fact and fiction as opposite sides of the same coin. In its unmomentous way, a major film.
Hans Jürgen Syberberg
Hans Jürgen Syberberg, Walter Sedlmayr
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