PORN, ECSTATIC TRUTH AND PASSION.
WERNER HERZOG SPEAKS HIS MIND
Werner Herzog’s intense curiosity about the world has landed him in some unorthodox places. He has been slung in jail in Cameroon and contracted blood parasites while filming mirages for Fata Morgana; he has faced mutinous Amazonian tribes while dragging a 300-tonne steamboat over a Peruvian mountain for Fitzcarraldo; he has explored the corridors of death row, the sub-zero temperatures of Antarctica and the snake- infested jungles of Laos. In 1977’s La Soufrière, he travelled to a Caribbean island wreathed in toxic fumes on the brink of volcanic destruction to interview the one person refusing to leave. Even on the relatively tame streets of Laurel Canyon, he managed to get shot while filming an interview for the BBC (he barely inched, peering at his abdomen and describing the bullet as “insignificant”). Today the Munich-born 74-year-old, who has made over 60 fictional and documentary features shot on all seven continents, has transitioned from a cult maverick to a filmmaking legend whose inimitable Teutonic monotone is so recognisable it has inspired ‘Werner’ chatbots.
LEONARDO DICAPRIO’S BEFORE THE FLOOD COLLABORATOR
FISHER STEVENS PREPS FOR BATTLE
WITH A CLIMATE CHANGE-DENYING PRESIDENT
When I got a phone call from Leonardo DiCaprio asking me if I would collaborate with him on a climate-change documentary, I was filled with both excitement and trepidation. Trepidation because I was currently editing my third lm dealing with climate change and was getting more and more depressed. e subject was so vast and so di cult to interest people in. But I was excited because here was an opportunity to work with one of the biggest stars in the world on a topic he was passionate about, and also, he had agreed to appear in the lm. If Leo couldn’t get people to pay attention to man’s effect on the climate, then no one could. We had agreed that the lm would cover a broad spectrum of issues relating to climate change to give the viewer a general understanding of the problems, as well as the possible solutions. We wanted to make a lm for young people and those who did not ordinarily think about climate change. We weren’t necessarily going to convert climate deniers, and neither were we aiming to make a lm for the converted. We wanted to inspire people to take action and wake up to the fact that we cannot sustain this lifestyle without paying for it in many dangerous ways in the future.
FOLLOWING HIS LATEST FILM HYPERNORMALISATION,
PROPHETIC DOCUMENTARIAN ADAM CURTIS REFLECTS ON THE LIBERAL BUBBLE, TRUMP’S ASCENDANCY AND RUSSIA.
No one makes films like Adam Curtis. With his magpie eye for idiosyncratic outtakes trawled from the vast trove of news footage in the BBC archives, the singular filmmaker stitches together exhilarating, sleepily soundtracked histories that sprawl across eras to shed light on the unseen powers shaping our world. Last year’s masterful HyperNormalisation plotted a labyrinthine course from 1975 in bankrupt New York and Assad-ruled Damascus, through Kissinger, Gada and Trump, with detours via Jane Fonda, Tarkovsky, UFO sightings, disaster movies and on into the echo chambers of the internet. He is currently deep in his next project, with a timely focus on Russia and its relationship to the West. We spoke to Curtis about the emotional age we live in and how a reality TV star became US President.