The Greatest: Werner Herzog

26Sep09
Werner Herzog eats his shoe

I waived my right to have a personal assistant, I waived my right to have a shopper, and I waived my right to have a chair with my name on it, which saved the production 65 bucks! But I hate those chairs anyway. I loathe them. I’ve never had a chair like that.

I came across a Werner Herzog interview in Vice a couple of weeks ago and have been wanting to say something about him for a while. The first time I heard about Herzog was during an episode of Ebert & Roeper at the Movies maybe four or five years ago. They were reviewing Grizzly Man, Herzog’s documentary film about a man obsessed with protecting grizzly bears by living in amongst them, only to be eventually devoured by one, survived only by his documented footage which Herzog reclaimed. I remembered this a few years later during a documentary film class I took during my last year at SFU, where we were given the opportunity to do a research paper on one filmmaker and the issues surrounding doc films. Herzog was an easy choice for me because I wanted to watch more of his work and knew he had a reputation for being slightly mad, and working people who were a lot like him.

My paper discussed Herzog’s use of reenactment as a reflexive tool in Little Dieter Needs to Fly. I can’t believe this whole film is available on youtube.

This is an incredible story. What’s amazing is how Herzog and Dengler blend into one person through voice over. I love this type of subtle self-indulgence when done well in film.

xx

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