Sunday, September 28, 2014

Werner Herzog

From Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed, Paul Cronin’s volume of dialogues with the director:

Paul Cronin: During an interview a few years ago someone shot you. You told the world: “It was not a significant bullet.”

Werner Herzog: Winston Churchill said that being shot at unsuccessfully is an exhilarating moment in a man’s life. I was at the top of the Hollywood Hills near my home, recording an interview, when I heard a loud bang. I assumed the camera had exploded because it felt as if I had been hit in the stomach by a chunk of glowing metal, but it was intact. Then, some distance away, I saw a man with a gun, ducking out of sight on a veranda. We had already heard him shouting obscenities about the fact that yet another film star was being interviewed in public. In that respect, it was something on a par with road rage. Although the bullet—small calibre, probably 22mm, or a high-powered airgun—went through my leather jacket and a folded-up catalogue, it didn’t perforate my abdomen, which would have been unpleasant. For this reason, the entire incident is nothing to speak of. I would have continued with the interview, but the cameraman had already hit the dirt. The miserable, cowardly BBC crew were terrified and wanted to call the cops, but I had no interest in spending the next five hours filling out police reports. When you dial 911 because of a burglary, the police take hours to check in on you, but when you report someone shooting, the helicopters start circling within five minutes, and soon after that a SWAT team moves in. The entire incident was more a piece of American folklore than anything else, though I’m glad...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue