Conversation with Werner Herzog

A couple of weeks back, I stumbled upon a transcript of a conversation between Roger Ebert and Werner Herzog.

To this point, I’ve read several of Ebert’s reviews on Herzog’s work (several of his movies are on my to-watch list).

But after reading this transcript, I’m more fascinated by the man and what he’s trying to accomplish through film. 

I think what really intrigues me about Herzog is the great extent he is
willing to sacrifice himself to create imagery that no other filmmaker
today is willing to attempt; his drive and purpose are not monetary.

“It was disgusting actually because at that time 20th Century Fox was interested
to produce a film and we had a very brief conversation of about five sentences
because it was clear their position was, “You have to do it with a miniature
boat.” From there on it was clear no one in the industry would ever support
something like that. It was really risky, and I knew, at that moment, I was
alone with it.”

Ebert makes a very interesting observation about Herzog in his review of The White Diamond:

“In ‘La Soufriere,’ a 1977 documentary released on DVD last month, he journeys to
an island evacuated because of an impending volcanic eruption, to ask the only
man who stayed behind why he did not leave. What he is really asking, what he is
always asking, is why he had to go there to ask the question.”

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