More lately, Herzog directed Rescue Dawn (2006) with Christian Bale. He also directed several documentaries, including 2011’s Into the Abyss. Produced Werner Herzog Stipetic in Munich, Germany, on September 5, 1942, renowned director Werner Herzog spent his early years in a little Bavarian town called Sachrang. In his early teens, he along with his mom moved back to Munich after his parents’ divorce.
Herzog grew up in post-World War II Germany. He afterwards described what it had been like for him during this time around to Psychology Today: “Folks believe growing up in the ruins was a such a negative thing for kids. To the contrary, it was amazing. We were the kings of blasted-out blocks in the cities.” Round the age of 13, Herzog first seen Klaus Kinski, his future film star; the pair lived in the exact same building to get a period. While he received little encouragement in school, Herzog started composing scripts in a young age, after working several occupations to finance his early movie attempts.
In 1968, Werner Herzog released his first feature-length movie, Signs of Life. He immediately became a top avant garde director in Europe, known for his challenging movie shoots. The movie, which stars Klaus Kinski, tells the story of a Spanish conquistador on a crazy search to locate the mythical El Dorado. The blend of the jungle’s damp, savage heat as well as the performers’ hefty historical garments almost proved to be too much for the cast. Kinski threatened to leave the movie, and, in return, Herzog threatened to shoot him. “I told him I had a rifle and he’d just make it as far as another curve in the river before he’d eight bullets in his head—the ninth would be for me,” Herzog afterwards told Cineaste magazine.
Around this same time, Herzog took on another epic film job, Fitzcarraldo, which explores one man’s bizarre fixation to create an opera house in the wilds. A part of achieving this aim called for lugging an enormous steamship above a mountain. Dedicated to realism, Herzog insisted that the actual boat be pulled over an actual mountain, describing to Esquire that he “needed the crowd in order to trust their eyes.”
Jason Robards and Mick Jagger were the movie’s initial leads, but the two finally dropped out following the production ran into delays as well as other challenges. Herzog later brought in Kinski to play the title character. Herzog’s years spent fighting to make Fitzcarraldo paid off in the end: For his work to the widely acclaimed movie, he won the Director’s Prize in the Cannes Film Festival in 1982.
Over time, Herzog has continued to produce interesting, if not always successful, selections for his movie endeavors. He directed the much-maligned Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, that was released in 2009 and stars Nicolas Cage. In the movie, Cage revisits the part of a drug-addled cop—a character originated by Harvey Keitel in 1992’s Bad Lieutenant. As well as feature films, Herzog has made numerous documentaries throughout his career. He turned his lens to your private issue with 1999’s My Best Fiend, about his relationship with actor Klaus Kinski. Not a conventional biographical job, Herzog told Cineaste the movie “is as much about me as it’s about him, about our odd relationship.”
In 2009, Herzog released two documentaries: Cave of Forgotten Dreams, which investigates a few of the first individual drawings found on cave walls in southern France, proved to be among the top-grossing nonfiction movies of the entire year. Herzog has consistently kept a solid position from the death penalty. In 2011, he delved into this problem with Into the Abyss, a documentary about Michael Perry, a prisoner who had been sentenced to death. Herzog revisited the issue in the 2012 television miniseries On Death Row, which created enough interest to spur a followup show. Around this same time, the director apparently started working on a documentary series analyzing hate crimes, entitled Hate in The United States. The couple lives in San Francisco, California.