Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stemming The Tide (Part 2)


His accent. His inflections. His wading down snake and leech infested waters for his film, Rescue Dawn; or just about any film.

"No filmmaker since Alfred Hitchcock has been more effective at mythologizing his 'brand' than Herzog." -Film Critic Jim Emerson

Herzog is a personality. He does not have to try very hard to strengthen that brand. There is a series of YouTube videos in which a Herzog impersonator reads children's stories.


Ex: Curious George: "One day, an intruder from society appeared in ze jungle. 'What a nice little monkey,' he thought. 'I would like to take him home with me. '
He put his hat on ze ground, and George is lured out of hiding by za hat; an alien trinket of unimaginable cultural significance. George quickly learns a hard lesson about desire. As his adventure with ze hat leads to his immediate captivity."

In the late 70's, Herzog told his friend Errol Morris, that he would eat his shoe if Morris ever completed his film, Gates of Heaven. Morris finished it, and the result was seen in a short film called, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe.

The shoe was boiled with garlic, herbs, and stock for 5 hours.

Herzog did not eat the sole of the shoe, explaining that one does not eat the bones of a chicken.

During a British TV interview about his documentary, Grizzly Man, he was shot by a sniper.

Yes, he was shot. They calmly but quickly got inside and continued the interview. Herzog laughed off the incident, as if this was just another day. "It is not a significant bullet," he said, while showing the wound on camera.

Herzog frames nature beautifully. He proudly never storyboards. Feeling it takes something away from the spontaneity and creativity that should be in film making.

Yet some of his shots seem so well framed, that they had to be put that way just so. Herzog states he knows rather easily where to place the camera.

In an interview in 2008, Herzog was questioned about his belief that the universe is a godless and random place. Mark Kermode of the BBC asked that if this was indeed the case, "how come it can produce something as beautiful as the films of Werner Herzog? For me, the proof that what you're saying isn't true, is you and your work."

Herzog replied: "Well, I stem the tide."

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