Werner Herzog

Werner Herzog, born on September 5th, 1942, is a German filmmaker, actor, opera director, and author. He is considered a pioneer of the New German Cinema movement. Herzog’s films often feature protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals in conflict with nature. His style involves avoiding storyboards, emphasizing improvisation, and placing his cast and crew into real situations that mirror those in the film they are working on.

In 1961, when Herzog was 19, he started work on his first film, Herakles. He has since produced, written, and directed over 60 films and documentaries such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974), Heart of Glass (1976), Stroszek (1977), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Cobra Verde (1987), Lessons of Darkness (1992), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), My Best Fiend (1999), Invincible (2001), Grizzly Man (2005), Encounters at the End of the World (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), and Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010). He has also published over 12 books of prose and directed many operas.

French filmmaker Fran├žois Truffaut once called Herzog “the most important film director alive.” American film critic Roger Ebert said Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting […] even his failures are spectacular”. He was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time in 2009.