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Hari Kunzru on Werner Herzog

August 30, 2012

Few film directors seem as directly present in their work as Werner Herzog. Not only does he have an instantly-recognizable aesthetic, but unlike most European auteurs of his generation, he has become a familiar face in front of the camera. We are so accustomed to seeing him—playing football with Peruvian indians, arguing with Klaus Kinski, eating his own shoe at Chez Panisse—that we might mistake him for just another “personality,” one of the celebrities who parade past at various scales, from cellphone to Times Square, on our screens. Directors are required to be showmen, particularly directors of documentaries, who always have to hustle to finance and screen their work. But Herzog’s presence, his insistence on being in the middle of things, is something more like an artistic strategy—which is to say it’s the very opposite of a strategy, unless it’s possible to be both strategic and uncalculated, canny and impulsive at the same time.

Excerpt of an article from Hazlitt. Continue HERE

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