herzog says

paul cronin: one idea that has appeared again and again throughout our conversations is something you have nicely boiled down to a herzog maxim: ‘filmmaking is athletics over aesthetics’.

werner herzog: as i said earlier, i was a ski-jumper when i was a boy. under normal circumstances, when taking off from a ramp you’d hold your head back while falling. but we would thrust our heads forward like when taking a dive. that is meant to neutralise the pressure of the air which tends to push you backwards. it is like someone who takes a suicidal jump from a great height, and then regrets his decision when he realises, midway through empty space, that no one can help him. it is the same with filmmaking. once you have started, there is no one to help you through. you have to overcome your fears and bring the project to an end.

everyone who makes films has to be an athlete to a certain degree because cinema does not come from abstract academic thinking; it comes from your knees and thighs. and also being ready to work twenty hour days. anyone who has ever made a film – and most critics never have – already know this…

…i have often said that i like to carry prints of my films. they weigh forty-five pounds when tied together with a rope. it is not altogether pleasant to carry such bulky objects, but i love to pick them out of a car and take them into a projection room. what a relief to first feel the weight and then let the heaviness drop away; it is the final stage of the very physical act of filmmaking. and i never use a megaphone when i direct, i just speak as loudly as i need to be heard, though i’m careful never to shout. i never use a viewfinder either and i’m careful never to point. i will continue to make films as long as i’m physically whole. i would rather lose an eye than a leg. truly, if i were to lose a leg tomorrow, i would stop filmmaking, even if my mind and my sight were still solid.

 

copyright: herzog on herzog, edited by paul cronin; faber and faber, 2002

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~ by mentalsyrup on February 3, 2009.

One Response to “herzog says”

  1. hope you stay fighting fit like athletes..so that we can have more film for you side 🙂

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