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In this filmmakers video learn about the importance of Werner Herzog in the film industry.
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Film History Biography of Werner Herzog Just a quick note, I’m really mispronouncing a lot of names in this thing so don’t get mad at me. Werner Herzog is one of the coolest filmmakers working today. I don’t know how dumb that sounds, hey teens check out this cool Herzog dude. But I can’t think of any really better way of to say it. His career is legendary he works with really interesting people. He picks really interesting projects; projects that seem to be expressive of his own personal curiosity and passions and creativity rather than desire for fame or money and tapping himself. He prolifically makes great films, sometimes two in a year. One of the two films the two films that he screened at festivals this year is the really conceptually weird non-homage, non-remake, and non-sequel to Abel Ferrara’s 1992 film, Bad Lieutenant; which is called Bad Lieutenant Port of Call-New Orleans, and stars Nicolas Cage. It’s really great and in celebration of release this Friday, we’re going to take a quick sprint through the Herzogian Catalogue. Herzog started making films in the late 60’s in Germany, was seen as part of the German new wave of filmmaking and filmmakers along with guys like Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders and Fast Vindor. He made his first few films on 35-mm movie camera that he stole from a movie film school. And one those was Even Dwarfs Started Small in 1970, about a crazy dwarf rebellion on an isolated island and 20 and 30 years later, that film would go on and inspire people like Crispin Glover, Harmony Korine and David Lynch; really crazy, it’s awesome. In 1972, he take his stolen camera to Peru along with crazy, legendary, freaked out master, actor Klaus Kinski to make Aguirre, The Wrath of God. It was the first of five films that the pair would make up. On the set of Aguirre, Kinski got kind of mad that some people were playing cards in the tent so he shot a pistol into it three times and blew off the fingertips of an extra. Not one to back down, Herzog the later threatened to shoot Kinski to death and then kill himself should Kinski abandon the project. The volatility of that relationship would for a long time define Herzog in his career, utterly mad and completely brilliant. All of the pairs of other films are magnificent Nosferatu the Vampire and Woyzek in 1979; the incredible Fitzcarraldo in 1982 and finally, Cobra Verde in 1987. And in between his work with Kinski, he made two films with the really weird, one time institutionalized, and son of a prostitute mother-musician that he called Bruno S, The Enigma of Kasper Hauser and Stroszek. Bruno S wasn’t an actor to start with, and wasn’t an actor after those two films either. Herzog’s career is marked by these weird, professional choices; this creative, daring, more often than not just works and it seems to come from the heart he once told Errol Morris that if Errol Morris finished his first documentary Gates of Heaven, he would eat his shoe, which he then did after cooking it for five hours in a California kitchen. It was caught on tape and made into a film called Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. And after his successful feature film, he spent the winter walking from Munich to Paris; in a bid to keep his mentor Elana Eisner, alive long enough for them to be reunited; which he did. In the 90’s and 2000’s, Herzog begin to focus more on making documentaries. In 1999, he made the really cool film about his relationship with Kinski called My Best Fiend. That film would be worth watching even if it was just footage of Kinski freaking out on the set about bad food in the jungle. 2005, he made the very moving very, very, very well-made film Grizzly Man, about the death of Timothy Treadwell. He followed that up in 2007 with a really cool documentary about an article called Encounters at the End of the world. It’s hard, really hard to pick a bad film out of this catalogue, which all got something to offer. And that’s true, in these two latest films as well; including the one that’s coming out on Friday, Bad Lieutenant Port of Call-New Orleans and My Son My Son What Have Ye Done, should be coming out sometime next year. If you haven’t seen much of his work or if you’ve only seen these recent documentaries, it’s absolutely worth going back into his catalogue to watch some of the stuff he made with Kinski and here some of the stuff he made with Bruno S; or the stuff that he made before that. You won’t be disappointed. It’s great.