Werner Herzog, 2009
|Born||Werner Herzog StipetiÄ‡
5 September 1942
|Occupation||Director, producer, screenwriter, actor, narrator|
Martje Grohmann (m. 1967â€“85)
Film should be looked at straight on; it is not the art of scholars but of illiterates.
I'm not into digital marketing, downloading, or streaming – I've always been a man of the theaters.
Sometimes bad luck hits you like in an ancient Greek tragedy, and it's not your own making. When you have a plane crash, it's not your fault.
Perhaps I seek certain utopian things, space for human honour and respect, landscapes not yet offended, planets that do not exist yet, dreamed landscapes.
Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.
Facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable.
I'm a very professional man. I'm not out for the experience of adventure.
I cannot work fast enough. I cannot cope fast enough, really. And just releasing a film is hard.
I never have searched for a subject. They always just come along. They never come by way of decision-making. They just haunt me. I can't get rid of them. I did not invite them.
You must live life in its very elementary forms. The Mexicans have a very nice word for it: pura vida. It doesn't mean just purity of life, but the raw, stark-naked quality of life. And that's what makes young people more into a filmmaker than academia.
You should look straight at a film; that's the only way to see one. Film is not the art of scholars but of illiterates.
If you do not have an absolutely clear vision of something, where you can follow the light to the end of the tunnel, then it doesn't matter whether you're bold or cowardly, or whether you're stupid or intelligent. Doesn't get you anywhere.
I live my life outside of the glitz and glamour of the red carpet events, and so you'll never see me there. I'm never at parties.
I think it is a quest of literature throughout the ages to describe the human condition.
I like and I love everything that has to do with cinema: writing, directing, editing, creating music, and even acting.
I'm politically interested, but I have no particular talent as a political beast, stepping out and running for office.
I find it interesting that there are impostors out on the Internet pretending to be Werner Herzog.
I despise formal restaurants. I find all of that formality to be very base and vile. I would much rather eat potato chips on the sidewalk.
Yes, the pyramids have been built, but if you give me 300,000 disciplined men and give me 30 years, I could build a bigger one.
Technology has a great advantage in that we are capable of creating dinosaurs and show them on the screen even though they are extinct 65 million years. All of a sudden, we have a fantastic tool that is as good as dreams are.
I do other sorts of things. I act in other people's movies. I direct operas. I write books.
I work very fast and steadily, and I don't hardly ever notice that I'm working. It feels like just breathing or walking when I do films.
I know whenever it comes to be really dysfunctional and vile and base and hostile on screen, I'm good at that!
I think there are specific times where film noir is a natural concomitant of the mood. When there's insecurity, collapse of financial systems – that's where film noir always hits fertile ground.
I think the worst that can happen in filmmaking is if you're working with a storyboard. That kills all intuition, all fantasy, all creativity.
Ambition is to be the fastest runner on this planet, to be the first on the South Pole, which is a grotesque perversion of ambition. It's an ego trip, and I'm not on an ego trip. I don't have ambitions – I have a vision.
Let's put it this way: art house theaters are vanishing. They have almost disappeared completely, and that means there's a shift in what audiences want to see. And they have to be aware of that and be realistic. It's as simple as that.
Why go to Antarctica, why do a film like 'Grizzly Man'? It's the sheer joy of storytelling – it's the urge.
You should bear in mind that almost all my documentaries are feature films in disguise.
I think psychology and self-reflection is one of the major catastrophes of the twentieth century.
I travel without barely any luggage. Just a second set of underwear and binoculars and a map and a toothbrush.
If an actor knows how to milk a cow, I always know it will not be difficult to be in business with him.
I have a great map of the Tibesti Mountains in the southern Sahara or Northern Chad. It's a dream of mine to go there, but it's such a volatile area, you have to be prudent.
Life on our planet has been a constant series of cataclysmic events, and we are more suitable for extinction than a trilobite or a reptile. So we will vanish. There's no doubt in my heart.
I could not become an American citizen. I would not like to become a citizen of a country that has capital punishment.
There are certainly laws and elements that make a film more accessible to mainstream audiences. If you've got Tom Cruise as a strongman, I'm sure it would have larger audiences, but it wouldn't have the same substance.