One of my favorite filmmakers, Werner Herzog, has somehow evaded my blog for quite some time.
Herzog is famous for two things: writing, directing and producing some of the best movies ever, and being absolutely insane. My favorite movie, Fitzcarraldo is a perfect example of both of those things.
Herzog decided he was going to make a movie about Carlos Fitzcarrald, the Irish-Peruvian rubber baron in the 1800s. Well, one of the main points of the plot is when Fitzcarraldo forces his crew to lug their steamboat over a mountain. That’s silly though because that would never happen and its obviously just special effects. Right?
In this monumental scene, Herzog basically gave special effects the finger and paid a bunch of Peruvian locals to actually pull a 350 pound steamboat over a mountain. Yes, he actually did that. That’s why it looks so real. Because Werner Herzog is absolutely insane.
Speaking of Herzog being painfully sincere, lets talk about shoes. Herzog was, at one point, a kind of mentor to the then aspiring documentarian Errol Morris. To motivate Morris to finish a film about pet cemeteries, Herzog bet Morris that if he ever did finish his film, he would eat his own shoe. Well, it was finished. And this was the result.
Finally, let’s not forget that time he was shot. Which time you ask? Oh right, he’s been shot multiple times (apparently for being to awesome for anyone to handle). Well, lets talk about the time he was shot during an interview and, much like Teddy Roosevelt, kept. God. Damn. Talking.
Herzog manages to justify rather well why he is the way he is. He says that to make a film of true importance, one must have experienced some pretty…out there things. He explains it all on his website for his film school.