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By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Herzog lifts his large, solemn head: stories and a script [UPDATED]

“Herzog lifts his large, solemn head to explain that he isn’t drawn to excess but that it somehow just happens to find him,” writes Brigid Grauman In the FT. ” He recalls a surrealist moment last year in LA when a sniper shot liebsterfiend3457.jpghim while he was being interviewed by the BBC. “The bullet — small calibre, it wasn’t a serious bullet —went through a catalogue that was in my pocket, so I wasn’t seriously hurt,” he says. “Everyone freaked out. I had no problem with it.” He has, he says gently shaking his head, a singular capacity for attracting violent events. Recently, while filming in Antarctica for a television documentary, a snowmobile flipped over on top of him. “Strong bones,” he says with satisfaction at surviving unscathed. “My attitude has always been that certain events cannot be covered by insurance.” … Herzog has a fondness for dictums which he says are born of lifelong experience. “Those who watch television, lose the world,” he warns, “and those who read, gain it.” The late travel writer Bruce Chatwin, with whom he had “a cautious but very substantial friendship”, quoted with approval Herzog saying, “Tourism is sin, walking is virtue” and made it his own motto at the end of his life. On his deathbed, Chatwin gave Herzog his battered leather rucksack and Herzog now takes it along with him on all his long walks.” Plus: a downloadable PDF of Alan Greenberg‘s screenplay for Herzog’s planned next feature, “The Cheese and The Worms.” [UPDATE: Greenberg also authored a screenplay on the life of bluesman Robert Johnson, which Herzog has spoken highly of; it’s called “Love in Vain,” and it’s a superb read if you look for it.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch