Rogue Film School

Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog got shot by an air rifle in 2006 during an interview with the BBC. He, of course, continued the interview and declined to get the police involved because, you know, they would have overreacted by trying to apprehend the shooter. Unsurprisingly, this happened shortly after he pulled Joaquin Phoenix from a crashed car on Sunset Boulevard. To look at his work, you have to look into a colorful life – the details of which approach folklore – because there’s often a clear connection between the two. The best example? When he was doing location scouting for Aguirre, Wrath of God and cancelled a plane ticket that would have seen him inside a turboprop that was struck by lightning mid-air with only one survivor. We all have stories of narrowly avoiding danger, but few are as dramatic as that, and almost none of them result in a movie being made. Yet that’s what Herzog does. He makes movies. So why not make Wings of Hope where you focus on the only woman to survive a plane disintegration that you should have been in? Why not push a giant boat up a mountain if that’s what the script demands? Why not eat your own shoe? So here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from the mad man of Munich whose last name means “Duke.”

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