Encyclopedia of Werner Herzog Part 4

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“Fitskarraldo” (1982) — the biggest (and in amplitude and duration), the most complex and probably the most important movie of Herzog. At least, it contains just all plots, themes, and directorial quality. The film tells the story of the European adventurer Brian Fitzgerald — played by Klaus Kinski (see Klaus Kinski), who decides to build an Opera house in the middle of the Peruvian jungle. He’s obsessed with this dream, but to realize it, he needs money and to earn them by selling rubber, it is necessary to manually drag the ship over the mountain. Herzog decided to film it turn out well only if you actually repeat the feat, Fitskarraldo and was hired to pull the cable a few hundred Indians.

The result was two films: he “Fitskarraldo” and a documentary about the filming of “Burden of dreams”, created by the Forest Form (see Shoes), the best picture about the Werner Herzog, filmed not by Herzog. “Burden of dreams” — a rare case when the film about the film was interesting, though, because everything happens in the middle of the jungle, among the Indians and the endless misfortunes that fall on the company, like changing the main actor in the middle of shooting, unprecedented weather extremes and the RAID of the hostile neighboring tribe. Despite the fact that “Burden of dreams” includes a good half mythology, Les Blank doesn’t focus solely on the personality of Herzog and then switches to long shots with huge ants or conversations with the Indians — like the duck himself.

Since someone once told Herzog that he could fulfill all the roles in his movies, he loved the idea and now regularly repeats it in interviews and during numerous presentations (see Herzog on Herzog). In addition, Herzog does take suggestions from other Directors, and is removed as friends (for example, in the movie “Mister Lonely” harmony Korin) and Hollywood movies (“Jack Reacher” with Tom cruise) and very little-known movies like the German film adaptation of the novel by Strugatsky “Hard to be God”.

Herzog could become the hero of your own movie (see Conquistador meaningless). His biography is full of incredible details: Herzog was in African captivity, Herzog was accused of starting the war in Peru, Herzog walked thousands of miles, Herzog jumped into a cactus, Herzog ate his Shoe (see Shoe).

The extraordinary German led to the emergence of a dozen documentaries about him. Still, the main promoter remains Herzog Herzog himself — he always goes to festivals can always be found with the audience and loves to answer all their questions and tell they’re incredible stories. Not forgetting to emphasize that he is a quiet person, risk not conducive and quite a normal, but crazy is the rest of all those around him.

The real key to the mythology of the Herzog — book-interview “Herzog on Herzog”, written by journalist Paul Caninum.


Civilization is the enemy characters. His characters exist on the edge of the world — either they are literally victims of civilization that cuts one size fits all, or the rebels, whose confrontation with the world is doomed to failure (see Conquistador meaningless). Civilization brings death to the Indians (“ten minutes older: the Trumpet”), destroys a different perception of the reality of aboriginal people (“where green ants dream”), corrupts and kills his imagination (“Every man for himself and God against all”); revolt against civilization crazed Conquistador (see “Aguirre, the wrath of God”), civilization brings to the suicide of a homeless immigrant Stroszek (“Stroshek”).

While Herzog does not opposes modern technology. He long ago abandoned film in favor of digital photography, recently shot a short film specifically for the film and has nothing against the Internet. Enemy civilization for Herzog is not technological progress, and hostile to the mediocre world around them.

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Other movies

By his own admission, Herzog quite a few watching a movie, and if it does it, mainly at festivals, the seat of injury. However, the question about his favorite Directors he usually says the names of Griffith, Murnau, Pudovkin, buñuel, and Kurosawa, although this does not mean that any reference to their films can be found at the Herzog. Separately, he likes to talk about “cinema itself”: understanding German this movie is about kung fu, porn, and movies with the master of tap dancing Fred Astaire. The essence of these films moving an image, the change of personnel, not puzzling the viewer with questions.

The German group Popol Vuh, playing a mixture of Krautrock, ethnic music and electronics, created the soundtracks to half the films of Herzog, including “Aguirre” (see “Aguirre, the wrath of God”), “Fitskarraldo” (see “Fitskarraldo”) and “Every man for himself and God against all” (see non-professional actors). And in several films, founder and group leader Florian Fricke even starred in small roles.

His films Herzog often produces himself through his own movie company, in this sense, his paintings — real art films. However, he admits that the creation of Werner Herzog Filmproduktion was a necessary measure. The first attempt to break into the industry Herzog has taken 14 years, but various proposals that he sent to the German producers went unanswered. Once he was finally invited for an interview, but seeing that the suggestions were hiding quite a young man, TV crew just laughed. Since then, Herzog outside help was not sought. The first film earned factory money, the second grant after the first, and so on. While Werner Herzog Filmproduktion still not converted to him into the business: the company produces only the films of Herzog.

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