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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

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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“I think [technology has[ its made my life faster, it’s made the ability to succeed easier. But has that made my life better? Is it better now than it was in the eighties or seventies? I don’t think we are happier. Maybe because I’m 55, I really am asking these questions… I really want to do meaningful things! This is also the time that I really want to focus on directing. I think that I will act less and less. I’ve been doing it for 52 years. It’s a long time to do one thing and I feel like there are a lot of stories that I got out of my system that I don’t need to tell anymore. I don’t need to ever do The Accused again! That is never going to happen again! You hit these milestones as an actor, and then you say, ‘Now what? Now what do I have to say?'”
~ Jodie Foster

“If there’s one rule Hollywood has metaphysically proven in its century of experimentation, it’s that there’s no amount of money you can’t squander in the quest for hits.

“Netflix has spent the past couple years attempting to brute-force jailbreak this law. Its counter-theory has seemed to be, sure, a billion dollars doesn’t guarantee quality but how about three billion dollars? How about five billion dollars? Seven?

“This week’s latest cinematic opus to run across no-man’s-land into the machine-gun emplacements has been the Jared Leto yakuza movie ‘The Outsider.’ Once again, debuting on Netflix, another thing called a movie that at one glance doesn’t look like any kind of movie anyone has ever seen before, outside of off-prime time screenings at the AFM.

“If you’re working at a normal studio, you have one or two of these total misfires in a year and people start calling for your head. How many is Netflix going on? Fifteen? Twenty? This quarter? Any normal company would be getting murdered over results like that.”
~ Richard Rushfield