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Werner Herzog: “I have to be careful not to talk myself empty.”

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10 Questions for Werner Herzog


Via Werner Twertzog

Written by kirkistan

April 4, 2015 at 2:09 pm

Can you tell the truth if your form is a liar?

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Herzog & Morris & Searching for Sugar Man

The politburo of Kirkistan recently made its way through two documentaries. One paved the way to fully appreciate the other.


In Capturing Reality: The Art of Documentary, Director Pepita Ferrari set documentarians Errol Morris, Werner Herzog and others in front of the camera to show and tell how their work is entirely biased toward telling their story.

Why would anyone expect otherwise?

Except there is something about the documentary form that shouts “objective”—which turns out to be a profound misdirect. Some documentarians are not above setting up and staging shots in their passion for telling their story. This should surprise no one. And it is neither wrong nor a misrepresentation—depending on how the documentary is billed. As always: caveat emptor. And this: sometimes the story is true though not all the parts actually happened. Fiction writers lead with this all the time (the preface to Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried comes to mind).05302013-MV5BMjA5Nzc2NDUyN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNjQwMjc5Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_

Ferrari’s film was a perfect set-up for Searching for Sugar Man. This is an unbelievable tale of a washed out 70’s era Motor City singer/songwriter who helped foment revolution in South Africa—but who never knew it. This film exhibits breathtaking storytelling, with the paradox gripping you from the first scenes. It’s also a history lesson in how apartheid fell. I won’t give away the end except to say it is one of the sweetest stories I’ve heard in a long time.

How about taking in a documentary this weekend?


Written by kirkistan

May 30, 2013 at 1:59 pm

What Grid Are You Using Today?

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Everyone uses a grid to sift the events and inputs of any given day. Your grid is your life experience that informs how you hear and see everything: all that you’ve read. How you’ve experienced life. The dark and bright sides of life you’ve experienced. Nerd or jock. Pretty or not: all of this speaks to how you hear conversation and how you interpret actions. Even your intentions and dreams are part of the grid.

Over at MultiCultClassics, the bloggist(s) sees ads and news through a grid of inequality. Copyranter uses a polarizing screen to force communication events into best or worst categories, with little in between. At church on Sunday the teacher reads an ancient text through a doctrine developed centuries later, invariably forcing the ancient author to say what the author never meant.  Werner Herzog reads Curious George showing one species making a buffoon of another (what, you thought Curious George was a kid’s story?).

But there is no escaping our grid. We’ve always been a subjective species. Always will be. The best we can do is identify the baggage we carry that holds us to our interpretations. And it’s best if we can be honest with each other about where we are coming from when we read this text, or interpret that comment.

Honesty about how we understand things makes for good conversation.


Written by kirkistan

March 27, 2012 at 5:00 am

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