Werner Herzog Stanford Talk: I'm a Soldier

Categories: Media

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Iconic filmmaker Werner Herzog spoke at Stanford last night after a screening of his 2005 documentary Grizzly Man, about a man named Timothy Treadwell who spent part of his life living with Alaskan grizzly bears, one of which eventually killed and ate him. Herzog speaks at Stanford again tonight, after a screening of his 2006 feature film Rescue Dawn. Here's a sampling of choice quotes from Monday. On why he stole his first movie camera:

"It's a practical step. It's easier than a bank job. I stole it because I needed one. And they wouldn't give it to me."
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On why other people should steal cameras:

"If you want to make a movie, stay out of the system. Steal a camera. Forge documents. Break into a car. You can make a film for five thousand dollars. There are no excuses anymore. Drive a cab, become a bouncer in a sex club. I worked nights in a factory. I'm a soldier."
On psychology:
"It is one of the great mistakes of the twentieth century… I have a metaphor about it, when you move into a new, empty apartment, you illuminate every room with brilliant light to every last corner and make it unlivable. "
On acting:
"I love acting and I'm good at it as long as I'm playing a roll where I'm vile, hostile."
On a group of filmmakers at a film fest in the Netherlands who criticized him for stylizing the truth instead of adhering to cinema verite principals:
"I don't want to be a fly on the wall. I want to be the hornet who stings. I said to them, 'Happy Birthday, losers. That is the accountant's truth.' I still feel good about it."
On people who meditate:
"One of my great oppositions is to new age, feeling good, feeling the vibes bullshit. I like people who do not meditate. Sure, there are people in Tibet where it is built into their culture, but I do not like people in California up on mountains doing meditation. What an abomination. I want to be in contact with people who can come up with a coherent argument."

Annnnnnnnnd.....fun bonus video!!!!-Andy Wright

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