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Werner Herzog’s Film School for the Insane

September 24, 2009
"We can't afford craft services. But feel free to eat the bear, if you're man enough."

"We can't afford craft services. But feel free to eat the bear if you're man enough."

Great news for jaded film school nerds everywhere: Werner Herzog — who recently bandied his Nicolas Cage-starring Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans at TIFF — has started his own film school built specifically for badass romantics like himself. Sort of.

Herzog’s “Rogue Film School” isn’t really a school or even a comprehensive program, but rather a series of one-off seminars conducted by the director at different locations. And while Herzog “will not teach anything technical related to film-making” (for that, he recommends your boring-old bourgeoisie film school), he will address crucial topics of the cineaste soul such as, “How do you create illumination and an ecstasy of truth?” What, you mean it’s not with a flashlight and a wheelchair dolly?

That’s not to say Herzog’s rogues won’t learn any hands-on skills:

Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

Ah the kind of defiant self-reliance and rebel spirit you can learn in a few days for the tidy sum of $1450. Always money well spent, even when you can’t afford your own film permits or a bus pass. Really, the price tag isn’t so bad considering you get a signed copy of Herzog’s memoir, “Conquest of the Useless.” Which — yawp! — the director will no doubt instruct you to tear to shreds.

So where will the first class of this lock picking, foot travelling, academy for fiery mavericks be conducted? In a hotel conference room, of course. Hopefully there’s juice and muffins — it’s good to stay nourished while being unsuccessfully shot at.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Simon permalink*
    September 24, 2009 7:35 pm

    Grizzly Man was… I’ve never before or since rooted for a tragic ending to a documentary that I knew was coming.

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