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Herzog on Herzog [Paperback]

Werner Herzog , Paul Cronin
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
Price: £14.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Nov 2002
Most of what we've heard about Werner Herzog is untrue. The sheer number of false rumours and downright lies disseminated about the man and his films is truly astonishing. Yet Herzog's body of work is one of the most important in post-war European cinema. His international breakthrough came in 1973 with Aguirre, the Wrath of God, in which Klaus Kinski played a crazed Conquistador. For The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Herzog cast in the lead a man who had spent most of his life institutionalised, and two years later hypnotised his entire cast to make Heart of Glass. He rushed to an explosive volcanic Caribbean island to film La Soufrière, paid homage to F. W. Murnau in a terrifying remake of Nosferatu and in 1982 dragged a boat over a mountain in the Amazon jungle for Fitzcarraldo. More recently Herzog has made extraordinary 'documentary' films such as Little Dieter Needs to Fly. His place in cinema history is assured. Paul Cronin's volume consists of an invaluable set of career-length interviews with the German genius once hailed by Francois Truffaut as the most important film director alive. It provides a forum for Herzog's fascinating views on the things, ideas and people that have preoccupied him for so many years.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (4 Nov 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571207081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571207084
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'...intelligent and incisive...' -- The Independent on Sunday newspaper

...exemplary of how this series interview-based books should work...

...as inspirational as Herzog's early movies... -- Sight and Sound magazine, November 2002

BOOK OF THE WEEK '... hilarious and engrossing...' -- The Guardian newspaper

About the Author

Paul Cronin is a film-maker who has also edited Herzog on Herzog, as well as Alexander Mackendrick's On Film-making.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Well, let me say just this, something for human beings everywhere, whether they be filmmakers or otherwise. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Herzog is without question, one of the defining figures of 20th century filmmaking, easily deserving of his reputation as an eccentric genius and practitioner of cinematic poetry, and of course, more than worthy of his creative association with people like Bergman, Dryer, Kubrick, Tarkovsky, and so on. His films seem absolutely alien when compared to the work of both his contemporaries and those that have followed in his wake- with no filmmaker since managing to perfectly pull off his trademark combination of surreal stylisation with moments of almost documentary realism - whilst his use of landscape and location was always as important to the feel of his films as both the narrative and characterisations. In his most celebrated film, Fitzcarraldo, he created his own parallels with the central character - by undertaking the mammoth task of hauling a giant steamship over a foreboding, Peruvian mountain terrain - which, would not only become the vision of his cinematic obsessions made real, but would also give birth to a number of rumours, legends and falsities that have arisen around the filmmaker throughout his career.
In this book, Herzog and interviewer Paul Cronin attempt to dispel some of these myths, whilst simultaneously creating some new ones of their own (with Herzog being the living proof that truth really is stranger than fiction), with the pair casting a critical eye over the filmmaker's career, from his first film Signs of Life in the late 1960's, to his more recent endeavour, 2001's Invincible, as well as discussing his childhood in the secluded Bavaria countryside, his years as a globetrotting youth, his volatile relationship with the actor Klaus Kinski and his thoughts and ruminations on life, work, travel and cinema. As a subject, Herzog is fascinating...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Enigma of Werner Herzog 16 Feb 2006
One of the unfortunate things for fans of Werner Herzog’s cinema is the rather feeble and pathetic array of literature there is out there. Timothy Corrigan’s essential Herzog book "The Films of Werner Herzog: Beyond Mirage and History" has been out of print for some years and besides, only covers Herzog’s career up to 1985. If you don’t have access to academic journals and university libraries the alternative is to pay through the nose. A definitive study of the great man’s films is required. Cronin’s book kind of fills that gap as it does at least deal with most of Herzog’s important works. The interest of this book comes from the fact that it a book of interviews and Herzog’s views are both illuminating and interesting. I could almost here his hypnotic German accent as I read it. However, a lot of old ground is trodden over and if any reader is looking for new and exciting tales of the raving Klaus Kinski, they will be disappointed. Many of the anecdotes and comments Herzog comes out with are repeated in My Best Fiend (1999) and on a number of commentary tracks for his DVD’s. Far more interesting are his comments on less known films such as "Ballad of the Little Soldier" (1984), "Echoes From a Sombre Empire" (1990) and "The Dark Glow of the Mountains" (1984). So many myths have sprung up around Herzog and his work, that perhaps now, mostly due to documentation and the media they feel somewhat stilted and stale. Herzog is at his best when expounding his own theories on the effects of cinema, and in his rants against academia. But its clear the man has a philosophy and goal which he is trying to achieve through the medium of cinema, not simply a director making money and then moving on to the next thing. Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great inside perspective 22 Nov 2011
A must have for any Herzog lover! The interviews in it are absorbing, much like reading a novel, since Herzog's life seems surreal. The book is full of his humorous remarks, his dead-pan style of looking at humour, personal stories and unusual advice for filmmakers.

I bought this book a while back, before an exam for a Film Study class and Herzog was one of the film makers I had to know about, since we had watched and discussed several of his films. I passed the exam with no difficulty, and it was mostly due to the fact that this book made me feel closer to Herzog's take on what movie making is all about, his beliefs, his modus operandi, his hardships and what made him become the out of the ordinary, rule breaking, mostly self-taught genius that we all love. The questions are not some bland lines you find in most interviews, but insightful and cleverly thought lines, making for a wonderful flow of question and answer.

While reading, you feel like you are witnessing the dialogue between the two, and you can almost hear Herzog when reading his answers. The division into chapters also makes it easier to find which topics are discussed in which part of the book. All in all a wonderful read, inspirational and definitely a step closer to understanding Werner Herzog!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MARVELLOUS 8 Feb 2003
Werner Herzog's endlessly fascinating career has been the subject of many myths and speculations. In this bountiful book, able film scholar Paul Cronin provides a context for Herzog to give his own account - the definitive one. I have to agree with the review on this page by ermoguff2: Herzog On Herzog is inspirational, well edited, and may be the best book so far in the faber interview series. No small claim.
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