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Talking to Werner Herzog

“A visionary film director”, “disturbing works” and “epic” are just some of the epithets that surround the figure and the film works of the German cinematic director Werner Herzog, screenwriter of films such as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” or “Fitzcarraldo”, amongst many others, whose career also includes a number of documentaries.

On March 23rd, 2011 the German director, screenwriter, producer and documentary maker will be in London to attend a meeting organised by Intelligence Squared to speak with Paul Holdengräber, Director of Public Programs at the New York Public Library, an institution of current reference to both American and global cultural scenes.

Herzog and Holdengräber will talk about their future projects and ideas, past works and their passion for the cinema.  They will also talk about the current “image culture”, a topic which Herzog has been very critical about, maintaining that the images that surround us today us have lost their strength and in many cases feel flat.

He further critiques on the audio-visual world which is the world of television and, more specifically, publicity.  Herzog goes so far as to assure us that “our children will hate us for not throwing hand-grenades into every TV station because of commercials.”

The talk will also cover his latest work for the big screen, “Chauvet: The Cave of Forgotten Dreams”, a film which will premiere this spring in 3D. 

This feature film is about the Chauvet Cave in the South of France and the findings by the speleologists Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, Christian Hillaire and Jean-Marie Chauvet in 1994. This cave represents one of the sanctuaries of prehistoric art in Europe where pictures dating back 300,000 years can be found.

As with his previous films, his latest work represents a real challenge for the German screenwriter.  This can be seen in the previously mentioned examples of “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” or “Fitzcarraldo”.

The work that was involved for the German director in his latest film, as well as with previous films, is summarised in his own words, “If I had to climb into hell and wrestle the devil himself for one of my films, I would do it.”

Date and Location: 23rd March, 2011 at 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

(Translated by Emily Russell – Email:

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