truemane
 member, 2099 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 15:33
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
I'm a day late, but all the same, every year, on September 5th, we should all take a moment and contemplate the life and passions of the German filmmaker Werner Herzog.

It is impossible to over-estimate how great an artist this man is, and how fortunate we are to have his example to look up to.

Here is a man who has chosen to live and work in a field absolutely beset by compromise and commercialism, and yet has managed to produce an body of bold artistic visions and never once compromise, or make a decision for money.

From such great films as Aguirre: the Wrath of God to documentaries like Grizzly Man, his subjects are the marginalized, the outsiders, those who live at the edges of both civility and reason. He makes films about people who go to extreme (sometimes even foolhardy) lengths to achieve their goals. And he, himself, often goes to equally extreme lengths to chronicle them. More than one person has commented that he is more obsessed than the obsessed people he films.

As a prime example: there was once a man named Brian Fitzgerald who, in order to make use of a plantation of rubber trees, disassembled a 30-tonne boat and moved it, piece by piece, over a large hill so he could reassemble it and put it in the river on the other side.

Herzog made a film about this man called Fitzcarraldo. And, in the film, Herzog moved a 300-tonne boat over a large hill all in one piece. In the middle of the Amazon rain forest, 1100 km from civilization, while being attacked by natives. In order to chronicle the actions of a crazed, obsessed man, Herzog performed an act several orders of magnitude more crazed and more obsessed.

Another: he once walked from Munich to Paris (about 850 km or 500 miles) to be at the deathbed of a friend because he was convinced that she couldn't die until he got there. And indeed, she lived for another 8 years.

He is not a creature of theory, or marketing. He spares no thought for target audience or box office receipts. He is a creature of visions, of bold, powerful visuals crafted and driven by the mysterious pulses of his own passionate soul. In an age when everything we consume is created and vetted by committee and cynically manufactured for maximum impact, Herzog stands like a titan among the ruins: an artefact of a mythic past, a force unto himself, a veritable Avatar of the artistic spirit.

As the film-critic (and his biggest fan) Roger Ebert once said: "You and your work are unique and invaluable, and you ennoble the cinema when so many debase it.

So Happy Birthday, Werner Herzog. You have made the world a brighter and more colourful place for those who treasure both great art and great artists. For you who live with urgency and integrity, you who stand when others bow and you who howl when others whisper, for you, we will always be grateful.

This message was last edited by the user at 16:06, Wed 06 Sept.

pdboddy
 member, 551 posts
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 15:36
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
Where is the upvote option, dammit.
horus
 member, 245 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 16:55
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
Happy Birthday, Herr Herzog!
mickey65
 member, 126 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 17:40
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
This tribute appears just after I complained that people place too much value on being easy to get along with. Werner Herzog in his prime was bloody DIFFICULT to get along with, yet he brought value to the world. We have to ask ourselves whether what we really want is a plain oatmeal society with no Werner Herzogs in it. Maybe some people want that, and maybe the people who want that have a lot of power, but they are cheating themselves as well as the rest of us of the contribution that people like Werner Herzog can make.
pdboddy
 member, 552 posts
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 17:42
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
It begs the question, did it take him 8 years to get to Paris from Munich?
truemane
 member, 2100 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 18:09
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to pdboddy (msg # 5):

Alas, no. About three weeks. Point is they told him she was going to die and he refused to let her die and HE WAS RIGHT.

In reply to mickey65 (msg # 4):

The thing is that there is value in being easy to get along with, all other things being equal. But I agree that people put too much value on it.
mickey65
 member, 128 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 18:11
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to truemane (msg # 6):

'You have to be able to get along with people to get things done in Washington." -- Hillary Clinton, whose argument failed to get her elected. People are sick and tired of too much value being placed on how well you get along with people, as if it were the only thing that mattered.
pdboddy
 member, 553 posts
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 18:19
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to truemane (msg # 6):

Well, there have been studies on this done.  And it appears more people die after their birthday than before.  As if they were staying alive just a little bit longer to celebrate.

It would not be a surprise if people can and do hang on in expectation for someone to come to them.
bigbadron
 moderator, 15430 posts
 He's big, he's bad,
 but mostly he's Ron.
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 18:42
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to pdboddy (msg # 8):

Actually they're just hanging round to see if they get any good birthday presents...

This message was last edited by the user at 18:45, Wed 06 Sept.

mickey65
 member, 129 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 18:43
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to pdboddy (msg # 8):

It's quite likely true. Physicians are just starting to scratch the surface of the mind's complex influence on physical processes. We've known about the placebo effect for many decades, but it was always dismissed as trivial and not worth investigating. That's not the case any longer.
truemane
 member, 2101 posts
 Firing magic missles at
 the darkness!
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 19:00
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to mickey65 (msg # 10):

"I'm so psychosomatic it makes me sick just thinking about it!
pdboddy
 member, 554 posts
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 19:09
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to bigbadron (msg # 9):

Well, what I would do is hang around long enough so that I can finish using my birthday gifts.  So hope for Skyrim 2.  That'd keep me alive for years.
mickey65
 member, 130 posts
 Long-time PbP player
 Love several systems
Wed 6 Sep 2017
at 20:31
Happy Birthday Werner Herzog!
In reply to truemane (msg # 11):

<upvote>