Science vs. Fiction: Werner Herzog

"I don't want to talk about my films." It was quite a proviso, coming from legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog, at the start of his conversation with Janna Levin at Pioneer Works. Known for producing, writing, and directing more than 60 feature and documentary films, including Nosferatu, Fitzcarraldo, and Grizzly Man, Herzog wanted to focus instead on his long standing writing practice—specifically, his new memoir, Every Man for Himself and God Against All. Long-awaited, the book is as inventive and daring as Herzog is, and tells the story of his epic artistic career in his inimitable voice.

Luckily for everyone, Herzog did end up discussing his films (if only as a means to return to poetry), as well as his childhood of poverty in Germany, the “murderousness” of nature, and surviving against all odds. ♦