A culture of mindfulness kills creativity.

Werner Herzog is in Berlin for a few days and talks about his work at the German Kinematic Association. A lesson in self-confidence.

“There is no photo montage,” explains Werner Herzog. The photo was taken during the filming of the documentary Grizzly Man (2005).DBA / Fabian Sommer

You feel like you are in the cinema when you hear this sound. He sings this hack with a Bavarian touch that raises high expectations. Only the soft jazz playing in the background at the Deutsche Kinemathek on a Tuesday morning before things really started to conflict with this. Soft not suitable for Werner Herzog.

Last Friday, the director traveled to his home city of Munich to present his foundation’s Werner Herzog Prize, which is given annually to innovative filmmakers. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won this year with his movie “Hero”. Herzog now combined this appointment with a trip to Berlin, where a large exhibition on his life’s works was shown at the Kinemathek for about two months. That’s what he wants to talk about today.

On one of the posters, the director looked unfazed at the camera, and behind him a few meters away a grizzly bear appeared. “This is real, not a photo montage,” Herzog emphasized again before the press conference. Who would seriously doubt that?

Berlinale: 95% garbage.

Fear plays a fundamental role in Herzog’s work, but the director himself did not show anything. He shot volcanoes, in the woods, with killers, with Kinski, he was shot in front of the camera with an air pistol and was only slightly surprised when he pulled his jacket.

Artists like these no longer exist, and this thought often comes to mind during a conversation. Of course this is not true. But they may have a harder time showing up and staying that way. On stage, Herzog recalls the situation when a ZDF official saw his “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” (1997) about a German fighter pilot in the US Navy for the first time. sighted “I have never seen such a bad movie in my life. Then the man said, before I went to the bathroom. Who will continue and should the day continue after such an incident?”

Werner Herzog sees it this way, too. “It just got more and more ridiculous,” he says of working with donors. It also has to do with “awakened” culture: “It sets a framework in which creativity is annihilated.” He tells how an American television station wanted to encourage him to have young men in a story instead of “mother and father” parents or legal guardians so that orphans or sons of the same sex would not feel excluded. It remains to be seen whether this example represents the arrival of the “den” culture In the film and television industry, it is surprising that Werner Herzog let himself be provoked by this.

“Work” is Werner Herzog’s motto, and he also implants this image in conversations in the cinema. There is nothing left for him to meditative search for inspiration, for character development and dramatic arcs developed on paper. “The story and the pictures inside me and when the time is right it all happens by itself. I don’t think about history.” A colleague wants to know where this security comes from. Herzog answers: It is a kind of “certainty of salvation.” This is the only way to enter the singing gladiator arena.

This certainty appears to have remained stable to this day. When asked about his media consumption, Herzog said, “I watch very few films.” “And I know most of it is junk. It was: 90% junk junk. Berlinale: 95% trash. My films are different and better too. They are all better.” He means.

From October 18-20, Werner Herzog will be a guest at the Deutsche Kinemathek for talks and book signings.

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