Herzog Eats His Shoes
Les Blank, 1980, 20 min
Yes, German film director Werner Herzog really does eat his shoe to fulfill a vow to fellow filmmaker Errol Morris — boldly exemplifying his belief that people must have the guts to attempt what they dream of. Inspiring. Werner Herzog forges ahead in his unique cinematic quest for truth and the late, great filmmaker Les Blank — and co-founder of the American direct cinema movement with Robert Drew, Ricky Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker and Albert and David Maysles — captures it all.
Burden of Dreams
Les Blank, 1982, 95 min
For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made more perilous by Herzog’s determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of native Indians to pull a full-size, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. The result is an extraordinary document of the filmmaking process and a unique look into the single-minded mission of one of cinema’s most fearless directors. Also with Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale.