Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog

Additional Names: Werner Stipetic (Geburtsname)
Darsteller, Regie, Drehbuch, Kamera, Schnitt, Ton, Musik, Sonstiges, Produzent
*05.09.1942 München

Biography

Werner Stipetic was born September 5, 1942, in Munich. At first, he grew up on a remote farm in Upper Bavaria but moved with his mother to Munich after his parents divorced. He hitchhiked through Yugoslavia and Greece in 1956, worked in Manchester for a couple of months at the age of 17, and finished school in 1961. In 1962, Herzog finished his first short film "Herakles" and set up his own production company in 1963. Herzog then studied history, literature and theatre studies in Munich, later as a Fulbright scholar at the film institute of Pittsburgh's Duquesne University.

In 1966, Herzog finished "Die beispiellose Verteidigung der Festung Deutschkreutz" ("The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz"), a "study" for his first feature-length film "Lebenszeichen" ("Signs of Life", 1967) that won the German film award in 1968 and was named the best debut film at the international film festival in Berlin. Furthermore, Herzog won the first prize at the 1968 Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen for his short film "Letzte Worte" ("Last Words").

Between 1968 and 1970, during several stays in the Sahara desert and on Lanzarote, Herzog finished "Fata Morgana". With "Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes" ("Aguirre, the Wrath of God"), that was filmed in Peru in 1972, Herzog managed in his first collaboration with Klaus Kinski to attract a larger audience by casting an international star for the leading role.

In choosing his locations Herzog repeatedly put himself – and sometimes even his staff members – at extreme risks. He was also criticized for casting roles with "exotic" lay actors: "Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen" ("Even Dwarfs Started Small", 1970) is a controversial parable of deformed social behaviour, with only growth-restricted actors. Furthermore, in "Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle" ("The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser: Every Man for Himself and God Against All", 1974) Bruno S., who had been living in isolation for several years, played the leading role of Kaspar Hauser.

For "Herz aus Glas" ("Heart of Glass", 1976), Herzog thought it useful to hypnotize the actors as a "means of stylization". Bruno S. also played the title role in "Stroszek" (1976/77), a film that borrowed several motives from the biography of its leading actor. In 1978, Herzog finished his first genre film with "Nosferatu – Phantom der Nacht" ("Nosferatu, the Vampyre"), a remake of Murnau's classic film "Nosferatu. eine Symphonie des Grauens" ("Nosferatu. A Symphony of Horror", 1921), as well as his first film adaptation, Büchner's "Woyzeck". In 1979, Herzog started to prepare the shooting of "Fitzcarraldo" in Peru. After several recasts, Klaus Kinski took the leading role. But during the shooting of the film, several arguments arose, also with the indigenous tribes in the area where the crew filmed.

Herzog then finished the socially critical film "Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen" ("Where the Green Ants Dream"), "Ballade Vom Kleinen Soldaten" ("Ballad of the Little Soldier"), and "Gasherbrum – Der leuchtende Berg" ("The Dark Glow of the Mountains") about Reinhold Messner in the Pakistani Karakoram massif. "Cobra Verde" ("Slave Coast") was his last collaboration with Klaus Kinski. In 1999, Herzog made the documentary film "Mein liebster Feind" ("My Best Fiend - Klaus Kinski") about his relationship with Kinski.

After "Schrei aus Stein" ("Scream of Stone", 1991), Herzog only made documentary films during the 1990s and did not return to feature films until he finished "Invincible" in 2001. One central motive of his following films are the conflicting poles of man and nature, of science and spiritualism. In "Rad der Zeit" ("Wheel of Time"), for instance, Herzog observed a Buddhist ritual; for the documentary film "The White Diamond" Herzog accompanied an aviation engineer in a miniature zeppelin to the rain forest in Guyana; the pseudo documentary film "The Wild Blue Yonder" tells the story of an extraterrestial on earth. In his feature film "Rescue Dawn", Herzog shows the struggle of survival of an US Air Force pilot (Christian Bale) who has been downed. In "Encounters at the End of the World", Herzog takes on a trip to the Antarctic to eternalise the beauty of the local landscapes on film.

Werner Herzog's next project was a rather unfaithful remake of Abel Ferarra's 1993 cult classic "Bad Lieutenant", entitled "The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans" (USA 2009) with Nicolas Cage, Val Kilmer and Eva Mendes in the leading roles. In the same year Herzog made "My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done" (USA), a drama based on a true story, with Michael Shannon as a man who kills his mother without any apparent reason.

"Cave of Forgotten Dreams" is Herzog's first work filmed in 3D – a documentary, which takes the spectator on a journey into the cave of Chauvet in southern France, where the earliest known cave paintings can be found. His following film "Into the Abyss" questions the system of death penalty by depicting the fate of a Death Row inmate and received an award for the Best Documentary at the London Film Festival 2011. Death and guilt were also topical in Herzog's 2013 short documentary "From One Second to the Next". The same year, he received honorary awards at the German Film Awards and the Locarno IFF.

Since the beginning of the 1970s, Herzog has every now and then played roles in movies of other directors, mostly minor ones. He appeared for example in Peter Fleischmann's "Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein" ("Hard To Be a God" 1989), Harmony Korine's "Julien Donkey-Boy" (1999) and alongside Woody Harrelson in the improvised comedy "The Grand" (2007). The thriller "Jack Reacher" (2013) saw Herzog starring as the villainous antagonist of Tom Cruise. His characteristic voice and memorable German accent also have him in high demand as a voice talent, as exemplified in the Japanese animation feature "Kaze tachinu" (2014) and the box office hit "Penguins of Madagascar" (2014).

"Queen of the Desert", Herzog's first fiction feature in six years, premiered in the competition of the 2015 Berlin IFF. The following year, the now 74 year old filmmaker presented three new works: the documentaries "Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World" (US 2016) and "Into the Inferno" (UK/US/DE 2016), as well as the drama "Salt and Fire" (DE/US/FR/MX 2016), the latter starring Veronica Ferres.

Herzog is self-publishing his screenplays as "film narratives" in the Skellig Edition, named after Skellig Rock, an island west of Ireland on which "Herz aus Glas" was filmed.

Filmography

2016 Into the Inferno
Participation, Director
 
2015/2016 Salt and Fire
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2015/2016 Lo And Behold: Reveries Of The Connected World
Director, Producer
 
2014/2015 Königin der Wüste
Director, Screenplay
 
2014 The Look of Silence
Executive producer
 
2013 From One Second to the Next
Director
 
2011/2012 Death Row
Director, Screenplay
 
2011-2013 Die andere Heimat - Chronik einer Sehnsucht
Cast
 
2011 Into the Abyss
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2010 Die Höhle der vergessenen Träume
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
2010 Was ich bin, sind meine Filme - Teil 2 - Nach 30 Jahren
Participation
 
2010 Happy People
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Executive producer
 
2009 My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?
Director, Screenplay
 
2008/2009 La Bohème
Director, Screenplay
 
2008 Bad Lieutenant - Cop ohne Gewissen
Director
 
2007 Encounters at the End of the World
Director, Screenplay, Sound
 
2007 Münchner (Filmfest-) Geschichten
Participation
 
2006-2008 Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher
Participation
 
2006 Rescue Dawn
Director, Screenplay
 
2005-2007 Bierbichler
Participation
 
2005 The Wild Blue Yonder
Director, Screenplay
 
2005 Grizzly Man
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
2004 The White Diamond
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2002/2003 Rad der Zeit
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Director of photography
 
2001/2002 Ten Minutes Older - The Trumpet
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2001 Pilgrimage
Director, Screenplay
 
2000/2001 Unbesiegbar
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2000/2001 Sound On Film
Director
 
1999 Neue Welten
Director, Screenplay
 
1999 Der Ball ist ein Sauhund
Participation
 
1998/1999 Der letzte Dokumentarfilm
Participation
 
1998/1999 Mein liebster Feind
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1998/1999 Julianes Sturz in den Dschungel
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1997/1998 Höllenfahrten: Flucht aus Laos
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1997 Flucht aus Laos
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews
 
1996 Brennendes Herz. 2. Tagebuch einer Flucht
Cast
 
1995 Gesualdo - Tod für fünf Stimmen
Voice, Director, Screenplay
 
1994/1995 Die Nacht der Regisseure
Participation
 
1994-1996 Brennendes Herz
Cast
 
1993/1994 Die Verwandlung der Welt in Musik. Bayreuth vor der Premiere
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Interviews
 
1993 Glocken aus der Tiefe. Glaube und Aberglaube in Rußland
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
1991/1992 Lektionen in Finsternis
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Executive producer
 
1991 Filmstunde 4
Participation, Director
 
1991 Filmstunde 3
Participation, Director
 
1991 Filmstunde 2
Participation, Director
 
1991 Filmstunde 1
Participation, Director
 
1991 Schrei aus Stein
Cast, Director
 
1991 Jag Mandir. Das exzentrische Privattheater des Maharadjah von Udaipur
Director, Screenplay
 
1991 Schneeweissrosenrot
Participation
 
1990 Echos aus einem düsteren Reich
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1988/1989 Wodaabe - die Hirten der Sonne
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Co-Producer
 
1988 Gekauftes Glück
Cast
 
1988 Bis ans Ende... und dann noch weiter. Die ekstatische Welt des Filmemachers Werner Herzog
Participation
 
1988 Les Français vus par...
Director, Screenplay
 
1987-1989 Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein
Cast
 
1987-1989 Russisches Abenteuer. Peter Fleischmann dreht "Es ist nicht leicht, ein Gott zu sein"
Cast
 
1987 Bikini - Mon amour
Voice
 
1987 Cobra Verde
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1987 Herzog in Afrika
Participation
 
1986 Werner Herzog - Filmemacher
Participation, Director, Screenplay
 
1984 Ballade vom kleinen Soldaten
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews
 
1984 Gasherbrum - Der leuchtende Berg
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews
 
1983/1984 Wo die grünen Ameisen träumen
Director, Screenplay
 
1983-1985 Tôkyô-ga
Participation
 
1982 Room 666
Participation
 
1981/1982 Fitzcarraldo
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1980 Glaube und Währung
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1980 Huie's Predigt
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1978/1979 Woyzeck
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1978 Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1976/1977 Stroszek
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1976-1978 Was ich bin, sind meine Filme
Participation
 
1976 Herz aus Glas
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1976 La Soufrière
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews, Sound, Producer
 
1976 Mit mir will keiner spielen
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1976 Neues Deutsches Kino: Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders
Cast, Miscellaneous
 
1975/1976 How Much Wood Would a Woodchuck Chuck
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1974 Jeder für sich und Gott gegen alle
Director, Screenplay, 2nd Camera unit, Producer
 
1973/1974 Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner (Ski-Flugschanze Planica)
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1973/1974 Anderthalb Tage Fußweg
Cast
 
1972 Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1971/1972 Der Welt zeigen, daß man noch da ist
Cast
 
1970/1971 Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit
Participation, Director, Screenplay, Sound, Producer
 
1970/1971 Behinderte Zukunft
Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Sound, Producer
 
1969/1971 Geschichten vom Kübelkind
Cast
 
1969/1970 Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen
Director, Screenplay, Arrangement, Producer
 
1968/1969 Maßnahmen gegen Fanatiker
Director, Screenplay, Sound, Producer
 
1968/1969 Die fliegenden Ärzte von Ostafrika
Director, Screenplay, Sound, Producer
 
1968-1971 Fata Morgana
Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Music (other), Producer
 
1968 Die Erben von Papas Kino
Participation
 
1967/1968 Letzte Worte
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1967/1968 Lebenszeichen
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1966/1967 Die beispiellose Verteidigung der Festung Deutschkreutz
Cast, Director, Screenplay, Editing, Producer
 
1966 NDF-Report
Participation
 
1964 Spiel im Sand
Director, Screenplay, Editing, Sound, Producer
 
1961/1962 Herakles
Director, Screenplay, Editing, Sound, Producer