A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
The documentary follows Gene Scott, famous televangelist involved with constant fights against FCC, who tried to shut down his TV show during the 1970's and 1980's, and even Scott arguments... See full summary »
A look at the spirit of New Orleans. First a funeral: Allen Toussaint explains that you arrive slow and cut up afterwards. Then it's food, with a lesson in eating crayfish at Frankie and ... See full summary »
Blue Lu Barker,
Henry 'Professor Longhair' Byrd,
In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
A passionate cook, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog stuffs some culinary aromatics into his shoe and uses the laces to truss it like a chicken, before he sticks it into a pot with water and duck fat to stew it. It is so that he can bring the stewed shoe to one of the first screenings of Errol Morris' debut film Gates of Heaven (1978) to eat it. This act will fulfill his loss of a bet to Morris, who he met as a student filmmaker, that he would never be able to make a movie. The bet was not Herzog's attempt of a jab against Morris, but rather to support a struggling but gifted Morris in his quest to do whatever was required to finance a movie project. In the process of eating the shoe, Herzog wants to encourage other aspiring filmmakers, and to set an agenda of increasing what he calls adequate images as a true reflection of the world. Written by
Werner Herzog ate the left shoe in the film and kept the right shoe in his pantry. See more »
If we speak of television it's just... ridiculous and destructive. It kills us. And talk-shows will kill us. They kill our language. So we have to declare holy war against what we see every single day on television, commercials and... I think there should be real war against commercials, real war against talk-shows, real war against Bonanza, Rawhide or these things.
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This is a little documentary prepared by Les Blank about Werner Herzog's sort of bet to Errol Morris that he should make a movie, but if he did with the luck that he would need as a first time director, he would literally eat a shoe. Herzog adamantly says in the documentary that he's only doing it in support of Morris and his film (which at the time this doc was released didn't yet have distribution despite its great acclaim at festivals), though there's something sublimely absurd about it all, even through Herzog's deadpan/serious talks to the camera. He talks a bit about Morris and his film too, and his praise for it is all well and good. But it's even more interesting to see a) Herzog's views on commercialism and film-making and the lack of "adequate images", and b) director Les Blank's inventive cross-cutting between the on-stage eating of the show, footage of Charlie Chaplin doing the act in a silent, and Herzog talking to the camera. It's funny once or twice, perhaps unintentionally from Herzog's words (i.e. "it's not self-destructive to throw yourself into a pile of cactus"). But for the most part it's meant as a very serious act of foolishness not just for Morris but for filmmakers everywhere. If you can find it- and it's now available on free sites like you-tube- it's worth a look, especially if you're a fan of Herzog. And for Morris fans too there's a quick treat in an outtake from Gates of Heaven spliced in at one point. That song, by the way, of which I quote in the one-line summary, is awesome.
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