When In Doubt…Turn to Herzog

A couple of excerpts from a recent The New York Times interview with Werner Herzog:

Why are you inclined to interpret nature as being “monumentally indifferent”? I advise you to go outside on a clear night and look out into the universe. It seems utterly indifferent to what we are doing. Now we are taking a very close look at the sun with a space probe. Look at the utmost hostility of the hundreds of millions of atomic bombs going off at the same time in its interior. So my personal interpretation of nature comes from taking a quick look at the stars.

How do you derive meaning from life if life is indifferent? Life is not indifferent. The universe is indifferent. But just trying, itself, is something I should do.

Did you ever find out who shot you? I was shot at various times. You mean here in Los Angeles?

Yes. No, I wasn’t interested.

When you pulled Joaquin Phoenix from the car accident, did you know it was him? Yes, although he was upside down in this car, squished between airbags that had deployed and wildly trying to light a cigarette.

That could be an image from one of your films. I knew he must not light his cigarette, because there was gasoline dripping and he would have perished in a fireball. So I tried to be clearly commandeering to him and tell him not to. But I was worried that if you gave him a command, he would strike his lighter even harder. So I managed to snatch the cigarette lighter from his hand. Then it became completely clear that it was Joaquin. But I didn’t want to speak to him after. I saw he wanted to come over and thank me. I just drove off.

How do you see your relationship to Hollywood? I enjoy being marginally involved. Just a few days ago, I did some voice recording for a “Simpsons” episode, and I did it in such a wild way. So wild that the director and some people who sat with me in the room burst out laughing before I ended my line. I had to be relegated into the control room, because twice in a row they started laughing. I said, “Gentlemen, I have not even finished my line yet.” In a way, “The Simpsons” is a bold intellectual design.

Excerpted from New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/23/magazine/werner-herzog-interview.html?referringSource=articleShare

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