Today a truly great man celebrates his 70th birthday. What better opportunity to praise one of the most accomplished contemporary auteurs?
Few living directors
have proven themselves to be quite as worthy of praise and acclaim as
Werner Herzog. Over fifty feature films, documentaries and other miscellaneous productions, this
looney, charismatic German man has crafted an amazing filmography of
character, depth and variety. From his early days crafting bizarre films
about dwarf rebellions, to his astoundingly successful infiltration of
Hollywood - have there ever been more brilliantly eccentric mainstream
productions as Bad Lieutenant and Rescue Dawn? - Herzog has consistently
enriched the cinematic terrain. Even his 'reinterpretations' of familiar tales (such as his nightmarish take on Nosferatu) are the rare justified remakes.
Attenborough pondering the reasons why monkeys do not make
slaves of lesser, dumber animals.
He is an accomplished director of actors. Most memorably, his collaborations with Klaus Kinski are amongst the all-time great actor-director collaborations. Of course, the off screen shenanigans of the two are equally fascinating, but we can never forget the great art they made together. In recent years, he has gotten a career best performance out of Nicholas Cage alongside inspired & demented turns from Christian Bale and Michael Shannon.
All are likely to have their own favourite Herzog production. But few
directors have been quite as interesting off and on the camera. From
shoe eating to getting shot on camera or saving Joquain Phoenix from a
car crash (and subsequently disappearing into the night as mysteriously
as he appeared) Herzog's antics are a constant source of entertainment.
He is a man of substance, of great charisma and with a killer sense of
bizarre humour. Plus, you have simply got to love that accent.
So happy birthday to Werner Herzog on his 70th birthday, as he shows no
sign of slowing down. A cinematic genius whose soul has never stopped dancing.
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