You’d feel tempted to call Werner Herzog the last of the Greats. It’s just that film history literally didn’t record another character as profoundly particular. Please, I urge you. See his films now, start with a more recent documentary (Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the Earth, Cave of Forgotten Dream) and alternate with mandatory fictions (Aguirre, the Wrath of God / Fitzcarraldo / Stroszek). The man speaks truth, the kind you’d find under a big rock that stood in place for ages. For anyone who hasn’t yet fell under the spell, here’s the real Gandalf.
As for this piece, you get a 600 page book of conversations between him and Paul Cronin. It’s an enhanced biography, the world according to Herzog.
You get life advice:
- “If you want anything done, always ask the busy man. The others never have time.”
- “Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief. Learn to live with your mistakes.”
- “Ask for forgiveness, not permission”.
You get film advice:
- “Cinema comes from the country fair and circus, not from art and academicism”
- “Every time you make a film you should be prepared to descend into Hell and wrestle it from the claws of the Devil himself”
You get it:
“A man should prepare a decent meal at least once a week. I’m convinced it’s the only real alternative to cinema.”