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Werner Herzog quotes Showing 1-30 of 61

“What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.”
Werner Herzog
“Academia is the death of cinema. It is the very opposite of passion. Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.”
Werner Herzog
“Do you not then hear this horrible scream all around you that people usually call silence.”
Werner Herzog
“Look into the eyes of a chicken and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.”
Werner Herzog
“Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read...if you don't read, you will never be a filmmaker.”
Werner Herzog
“Facts do not convey truth. That's a mistake. Facts create norms, but truth creates illumination.”
Werner Herzog
“In the face of the obscene, explicit malice of the jungle, which lacks only dinosaurs as punctuation, I feel like a half-finished, poorly expressed sentence in a cheap novel.”
Werner Herzog
“If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big color photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe.”
Werner Herzog
“I believe the common denominator of the universe is not harmony; but chaos, hostility and murder.”
Werner Herzog
“People think we had a love-hate relationship. Well, I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We had mutual respect for each other, even as we both planned each other's murder.”
Werner Herzog
“May I propose a Herzog dictum? those who read own the world, and those who watch television lose it. ”
Werner Herzog
“It is not only my dreams, my belief is that all these dreams are yours as well. The only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. And that is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about... and it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. We have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.”
Werner Herzog
“If you’re purely after facts, please buy yourself the phone directory of Manhattan. It has four million times correct facts. But it doesn’t illuminate.”
Werner Herzog
“Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle”
Werner Herzog
“There are deeper strata of truth in cinema, and there is such a thing as poetic, ecstatic truth. It is mysterious and elusive, and can be reached only through fabrication and imagination and stylization.”
Werner Herzog, Herzog on Herzog
“Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.”
Werner Herzog
“But the question that everyone wanted answered was whether I would have the nerve and the strength to start the whole process from scratch. I said yes; otherwise I would be someone who had no dream left, and without dreams I would not want to live.”
Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
“I'm quite convinced that cooking is the only alternative to film making. Maybe there's also another alternative, that's walking on foot.”
Werner Herzog
“Your film is like your children. You might want a child with certain qualities, but you are never going to get the exact specification right. The film has a privilege to live its own life and develop its own character. To suppress this is dangerous. It is an approach that works the other way too: sometimes the footage has amazing qualities that you did not expect”
Werner Herzog
“Am I in the wrong place here, or in the wrong life? Did I not recognize, as I sat in a train that raced past a station and did not stop, that I was on the wrong train, and did I not learn from the conductor that the train would not stop at the next station, either, a hundred kilometers away, and did he not also admit to me, whispering with his hand shielding his mouth, that the train would not stop again at all?”
Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
“The opinion of the public is sacred. The director is a cook who merely offers different dishes to them and has no right to insist they react in a particular way. A film is just a projection of light, completed only when it crosses the gaze of the audience[...]”
Werner Herzog, Herzog on Herzog
tags: film
“at the press conference for the film he impressed everyone with his complete sincerity and innocence. he said he had come to see the sea for the first time and marveled at how clean it was. someone told him that, in fact, it wasn't. 'when the world is emptied of human beings' he said, 'it will become so again”
werner herzog
“Meanwhile it's got stormy, the tattered fog even thicker, chasing across my path. Three people are sitting in a glassy tourist cafe between clouds and clouds, protected by glass from all sides. Since I don't see any waiters, it crosses my mind that corpses have been sitting there for weeks, statuesque. All this time the cafe has been unattended, for sure. Just how long have they been sitting here, petrified like this?”
Werner Herzog, Of Walking in Ice: Munich-Paris, 11/23 to 12/14, 1974
“A fairly young, intelligent-looking man with long hair asked me whether filming or being filmed could do harm, whether it could destroy a person. In my heart the answer was yes, but I said no.”
Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
“For a moment the feeling crept over me that my work, my vision, is going to destroy me, and for a fleeting moment I let myself take a long, hard look at myself, something I would not otherwise do--out of instinct, on principle, out of self-preservation--look at myself with objective curiosity to see whether my vision has not destroyed me already. I found it comforting to note that I was still breathing.”
Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
“Taking a close look at - at what's around us there - there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of... overwhelming and collective murder. And we in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle - Uh, we in comparison to that enormous articulation - we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban... novel... a cheap novel. We have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication... overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the - the stars up here in the - in the sky look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it, I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgment.”
Werner Herzog, Burden of Dreams
“It is only through writing that I become myself”
Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
“Amos Vogel was a mentor, a guiding light for me. In his presence, you always rose. But his importance to me is of minor significance. What is significant is that with him an entire epoch ends. The Last Lion has left us.
I am still not capable – or rather unwilling – to understand the fact that Amos passed away, because a man like him cannot be dead. His traces are everywhere.

(on the passing of Amos Vogel, his friend for more than 45 years)”
Werner Herzog
“Civilization is like a thin layer of ice upon a deep ocean of chaos and darkness.”
Werner Herzog
“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.”
Werner Herzog

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Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo Conquest of the Useless
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Of Walking in Ice: Munich-Paris, 11/23 to 12/14, 1974 Of Walking in Ice
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Scenarios: Aguirre, the Wrath of God / Every Man for Himself and God Against All / Land of Silence and Darkness / Fitzcarraldo Scenarios
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Manuel de survie : entretien avec Hervé Aubron et Emmanuel Burdeau Manuel de survie
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