Thought Catalog
May 12, 2011

Everything I Know About Werner Herzog

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Werner Herzog is a German filmmaker born on September 5, 1942.

Many of Werner Herzog’s films have either won or been nominated for awards of varying prestige.

Lightbulbs have terrified Werner Herzog since he was a child. Cave of Forgotten Dreams, his latest 3-D release about the Chauvet Cave in southern France, was almost a 94-minute shot of a lightbulb (still titled Cave of Forgotten Dreams, still in 3-D).

Every time a Waka Flocka Flame song plays, whether the listener is aware of it or not, they will experience two to eight thoughts Werner Herzog has thought. Every time a Waka Flocka Flame plays around Werner Herzog he feels uncomfortable but doesn’t know why. Immediately after viewing Herzog’s Land of Silence and Darkness, Waka Flocka Flame retreated to his room for a week and denies seeing the film to this day.

Werner Herzog likes to keep his film crews small.

Sometimes Werner Herzog has people in his documentaries act in addition to just being themselves, to create what he calls “ecstatic truth.”

The best way to avoid an attack from Werner Herzog is to burrow deeply into a three-foot-tall hedge. If a hedge isn’t nearby, hiding behind any three-foot-tall object will suffice, though it is advised to stay as still as possible in these instances.

“There is something about my face that is sinister,” said Werner Herzog in a 2006 New Yorker profile.

Werner Herzog has been married three times.

Werner Herzog has successfully shortened every Tuesday in the Western Hemisphere by 15 seconds.

One can simulate the acoustics in Werner Herzog’s mouth by standing in a minimally furnished eight-foot by eight-foot room with 83% humidity.

Werner Herzog claimed he would eat his shoe if Errol Morris ever completed his 1978 documentary about pet cemeteries, Gates of Heaven. When the film was completed, Herzog boiled his shoe and ate everything but the sole, claiming “One does not eat the bones of the chicken.” Les Blank directed a short documentary, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, based on this incident.

Werner Herzog has never angrily said “Stop worrying about your ankle, your ankle is fine” to his mother.

Shortly after the birth of Werner Herzog’s son, Simon, bananas grown in Ecuador were an average 10% chewier. Bananas grown in Costa Rica experienced no significant texture change, though some farmers noted a shorter ripening period.

Werner Herzog played an audio recording of former wildlife advocate Timothy Treadwell getting eaten by a bear in front of Treadwell’s ex-girlfriend in the 2005 film, Grizzly Man.

Areas influenced by Werner Herzog often appear lively and flourishing due to recurring patterns of one “decoy” near two “originals.” This phenomenon, commonly referred to as the Herzog Effect, is so subtle that it often goes unnoticed, though once recognized seems obvious and easy to detect. Most notably, Best Buy has taken advantage of the Herzog Effect by including one formerly functional cell phone in every group of three display phones.

In 1975, the Grand Prize of the Jury was awarded to Werner Herzog at the Cannes Film Festival for The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, a film about a man who mysteriously appeared in Nuremberg barely able to speak or walk and later reveals he had escaped from a dungeon in which he had been imprisoned for unknown reasons.

A phone number is available on the “Contact” page of Werner Herzog’s website.

Pert Plus’ quality control department once recorded a 54 minute phone call from Werner Herzog complaining of a filmy residue left on his scalp from the shampoo in addition to its “disappointingly low lather.” Rumors have generated around the call’s audio recording due to an unexplained 20-second silence preceding Herzog shouting “…of a self-contained man against the [either “terrors” or “herrings”] of the world” and hanging up.

For nearly seven hours while shooting Wheel of Time, Werner Herzog emitted a frequency astrophysicists first mistook for signals originating in a mass of potentially intelligent light waves delivering a message that the universe had finally stopped expanding.

In addition to filmmaking, Werner Herzog has written books and directed operas. TC mark

image – Erinc Salor

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