Werner HerzogUncompromising German Filmmaker
German cinema's unpredictable elder statesman.
Arguably Germany's finest director, Werner Herzog is a prolific filmmaker who is highly regarded for both his feature and documentary projects, which frequently focus on obsession, insanity, and nature. Raised in Munich, Herzog began making short films during the 1960s, and first won international attention with the ambitious '72 Amazonian saga Aguirre, the Wrath of God, a movie renowned for its tumultuous creation, particularly the director's heated confrontations with volatile lead actor Klaus Kinski. Remarkably, Herzog reunited with Kinski for four more films, including an atmospheric reworking of F.W. Murnau's horror classic, Nosferatu, and yet another expansive jungle tale, Fitzcarraldo. Though he was less active behind the camera during much of the '80s and '90s, the eclectic auteur reemerged with two lauded documentaries—Little Dieter Needs to Fly, which looks at one man's ordeal as a POW in Vietnam, and My Best Fiend, about Herzog's intense collaborations with Kinski. He followed with the period drama Invincible, a return to narrative features, in 2000 and garnered widespread acclaim in '05 for Grizzly Man, a fascinating portrait of doomed ursine enthusiast Timothy Treadwell that is marked by Herzog's philosophical and heavily accented narration. Subsequent films—most notably Rescue Dawn, which revisited the story of Dieter Dengler, and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, an unabashedly dark and strange corrupt-cop tale—continued Herzog's explorations of desperate, if not downright deranged, individuals.
|Werner Herzog on Deeper Truth|