I believe the common denominator of the Universe is not harmony, but chaos, hostility and murder.

— Werner Herzog

The most famous Werner Herzog quotes that are little-known but priceless

I don't spend sleepless nights over getting very bad reviews.

57

People think we had a love-hate relationship.

Well, I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We had mutual respect for each other, even as we both planned each other's murder.

53

Someone like Jean-Luc Godard is for me intellectual counterfeit money when compared to a good kung fu film.

46

Facts do not convey truth. That's a mistake. Facts create norms, but truth creates illumination.

37

What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams.

34

At the same time, there's something magnificent about volcanoes;

they created the atmosphere that we need for breathing.

27

While you are walking you would learn much more about filmmaking than if you were in a classroom. During your voyage you will learn more about what your future holds than in five years at film school. Your experiences would be the very opposite of academic knowledge, for academia is the death of cinema. It is the very opposite of passion.

24

Martin Luther was asked, what would you do if tomorrow the world would come to an end, and he said, 'I would plant an apple tree today.' This is a real good answer. I would start shooting a movie.

21

Our presence on this planet does not seem to be sustainable.

Our technical civilization makes up particularly vulnerable. There is talk all over the scientific community about climate change. Many of them [scientists] agree, the end of human life on earth is assured.

21

Public life is constantly aware of the volcano.

13

Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

12

Technology has a great advantage in that we are capable of creating dinosaurs and show them on the screen even though they are extinct 65 million years. All of a sudden, we have a fantastic tool that is as good as dreams are.

10

About Werner Herzog

Quotes 273 sayings
Nationality German
Profession Director
Birthday October 16

I shouldn't make movies anymore. I should go to a lunatic asylum.

10

I am torn between the beauty of the natural world, which you see all around us, and the idea that some dumb tornado could blow a telephone pole onto my sweet Camaro.

9

The universe couldn't care less about us.

I say this very clearly in the film [ "Into the Inferno"]: our planet is "indifferent to scurrying roaches, retarded reptiles and vapid humans alike."

9

Spirit of immersion and curiosity and awe and participation is something which Timothy Treadwell and I have in common.

8

For example, the face of Nicole Kidman in Queen of the Desert and she is the most beautiful goddess on screen that you can find anywhere around in the world. There's no imperfections, and yet I don't need to know every single pore in her face.

8

Facts sometimes have a strange and bizarre power that makes their inherent truth seem unbelievable.

7

I travel without barely any luggage. Just a second set of underwear and binoculars and a map and a toothbrush.

7

In the Chauvet Cave, there is a painting of a bison embracing the lower part of a naked female body. Why does Pablo Picasso, who had no knowledge of the Chauvet Cave, use exactly the same motif in his series of drawings of the Minotaur and the woman? Very, very strange.

7

It was a subject [ volcanoes] that was dormant in me for a long time and it popped up 40 years ago when I made a [short] film on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe about a volcano that was about to explode and a single farmer refused to leave ["La Soufrière"].

6

You will learn more by walking from Canada to Guatemala than you will ever learn in film school.

6

I never planned my career in steps. It's all coming at me like burglars in the night.

6

I do whatever pushes me hardest. It's coming at me and I try to... it's like uninvited guest and I have to wrestle them out the door or through the window - get them out and get over with them quickly.

6

In the face of the obscene, explicit malice of the jungle, which lacks only dinosaurs as punctuation, I feel like a half-finished, poorly expressed sentence in a cheap novel.

5

I always loved celluloid cameras in the early days that were sturdy and reliable. Even under tropical conditions and downpour of rain, it would still work.

5

Coincidences always happen if you keep your mind open, while storyboards remain the instruments of cowards who do not trust in their own imagination and who are slaves of a matrix If you get used to planning your shots based solely on aesthetics, you are never that far from kitsch.

5

You have to be very prudent with what you are doing and what sort of tools you are utilizing. Drones have become a wonderful new tool in filmmaking.

5

For a film I shot on the most difficult mountain on God's wide earth in Patagonia for a sequence where there was high probability some digital effects were needed, somebody made storyboards and I quickly ignored them, after half an hour I ignored them and I never used any digital effect.

5

I'm very, very curious about how people live under the volcano, how they handle the permanence of danger.

4

When you look at my film you see footage that is unbelievably awesome and beautiful and dangerous looking. It's something that is very, very cinematic.

4

Everyone who makes films has to be an athlete to a certain degree because cinema does not come from abstract academic thinking; it comes from your knees and thighs.

4

It's curiosity, and always a sense of poetry.

You see it in particular in the chapter "Iceland" where I'm reciting ancient Icelandic poetry. It has this very beautiful gravitas in conjunction with the volcanoes.

4

When I say tourism is sin and traveling on foot is virtue, it's condensed into a dictum. It's much more complex than that, but let's face it, for me, my experience, the world reveals itself to those that travel on foot. You understand the world in a much deeper level. And it does good to anyone who makes film.

4

In Germany, you would be hanged if you cracked a joke about Hitler and you would be killed by the state if you were insane in a project of euthanasia.

3

I am so used to plunging into the unknown that any other surroundings and form of existence strike me as exotic and unsuitable for human beings.

3

I make films because I have not learned anything else and I know I can do it to a certain degree. And it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. We have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field.

3

Well they are very frightening for me because their stupidity is so flat.

You look into the eyes of a chicken and you lose yourself in a completely flat, frightening stupidity. They are like a great metaphor for me... I kind of love chicken, but they frighten me more than any other animal.

3

I love nature but against my better judgment.

3

If you want to do a film, steal a camera, steal raw stock, sneak into a lab and do it!

3

If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big color photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe.

3

I doubt that VR will really replace the quality of books.

If you want to go into let's say the Prado in Madrid and you want to go into Hieronymus Bosch or whatever, you'd rather go into books and you take your time and it's sitting there all day long and you go back and revisit it and it becomes part of your physical life.

3

There are certainly laws and elements that make a film more accessible to mainstream audiences. If you've got Tom Cruise as a strongman, I'm sure it would have larger audiences, but it wouldn't have the same substance.

3

Tourism is a mortal sin.

3

It's funny how in the long time of me working in various countries and various situations that there is this kind of idea out in the media that I am a daredevil and that I risk the lives of everyone around me, but nobody ever gets hurt on my shoot. Some crew members sometimes, but the actors are OK.

3

Along with this rapid growth of forms of communication at our disposal - be it fax, phone, email, internet or whatever - human solitude will increase in direct proportion.

3

For such an advanced civilization as ours to be without images that are adequate to it is as serious a defect as being without memory.

3

Ten years ago in Antarctica shooting "Encounters at the End of the World," I met a very fine volcanologist from Cambridge University [Clive Oppenheimer] and we kept talking about doing a film and all of a sudden it became serious when he hinted at the possibility to film in North Korea.

3

If you go to Florence, it has all surface beauty, but like Venice, it's simply a museum of Renaissance times. Los Angeles is raw, uncouth and bizarre, but it's a place of substance. It has more new horizons than any other place.

2
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