Werner Herzog Only Watches 3 Movies a Year (and Other Things He Might Tell You Over Dinner)
If Werner Herzog was staying for supper, what would you serve? You couldn't very well offer Hamburger Helper to the director that's been dubbed by some the "single most important film director on the planet." If you were looking to color this fanciful dinner party in your head, or if you just can't wait for the limited edition of Herzog: The Collection, check out UCTV's "An Evening with Werner Herzog" below, and get a sense of the influences in Herzog's life, how it influenced his filmmaking philosophy, and other humorous/infuriating/enlightening conversation.
Herzog is the main course in this UC Santa Barbara talk with acclaimed writer Pico Iyer, offering up an array of details about his life, from not having shoes until age 11 to using the written word in times of the worst distress, as well as the filmmaking process behind Fitzcarraldo and Cave of Forgotten Dreams among others. Here are two hours for your viewing pleasure that might be especially fun if you're counting the days until Shout Factory's Herzog: The Collection limited release in July:
In my fictionalized evening, I imagine Herzog would drink white wine, and that wouldn't be the first thing we'd disagree about. It would certainly be an intriguing event. Herzog is known for his poetry and colorful discussions in person, as well as his polarizing opinions on many topics. Here, for example, is Herzog's response to Iyer asking him about the fact that the he doesn't actually watch many films:
No I do not. I maybe see two or three films as an average per year. Sometimes more. I was at the Berlin Film Festival serving on the jury. Of course, being on the jury I had so see all the films in competition, which was twenty! So all of a sudden I saw twenty films. But I'm familiar with film history. The real good films, I know. You see, the problem with festivals is a very fundamental one. We have 3000, maybe 4000 festivals a year worldwide, but we have only three of four real good films. That's a fundamental problem. And sometimes it's not even three!
What do you think about Herzog's thoughts about the number of films worth watching, or anything else in his talk? How many films do you watch a year?