Werner Herzog Creates Required Reading & Movie Viewing Lists for Enrolling in His Film School

“Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read… read, read… read,” Wern­er Her­zog once said. “If you don’t read, you will nev­er be a film­mak­er.” The direc­tor of Aguirre, the Wrath of GodFitz­car­ral­do, and Bad Lieu­tenant: Port of Call New Orleans has­n’t dis­tanced him­self from that pro­nounce­ment in assem­bling the cur­ricu­lum for his Rogue Film School, which we first fea­tured last year. Her­zog’s uncon­ven­tion­al crash-course in auteur­ship may promise to cov­er “the art of lock-pick­ing, trav­el­ing on foot, the exhil­a­ra­tion of being shot at unsuc­cess­ful­ly, the ath­let­ic side of film­mak­ing, the cre­ation of one’s own shoot­ing per­mits, the neu­tral­iza­tion of bureau­cra­cy, and gueril­la film­mak­ing,” but it also demands that its stu­dents hit the books.

Here, from the Rogue Film School’s about page, we have its required read­ing:

And its sug­gest­ed read­ing:

Like a more stan­dard film school, Her­zog’s pro­gram also has a required film-view­ing list, which includes a few of my own favorite direc­tors (though with noth­ing by Her­zog him­self, not that any stu­dent igno­rant of the man’s work would want to enroll in the first place):

Once these mate­ri­als have filled your head with visions of big-game hunt­ing, rebel­lion and counter-rebel­lion, Roman agri­cul­ture, ven­tures into ter­ra incog­ni­ta, com­ing of age in the third world, and the Texas School Book Depos­i­to­ry, will you then find your­self able to make a film? Only if you take these lists as but a start­ing point, and keep on read­ing, read­ing, read­ing, read­ing, and read­ing, as well as watch­ing, watch­ing, watch­ing, watch­ing, and watch­ing. And what about oth­er triv­ial mat­ters, like financ­ing? In more of Her­zog’s own, direct words (though sure­ly said in jest): “Rob a bank, for god’s sake!”

Note: The image used to high­light this post on Twit­ter and Face­book was tak­en by Erinc Salor, and it’s avail­able by Wiki­me­dia Com­mons.

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Relat­ed Con­tent:

Wern­er Herzog’s Rogue Film School: Apply & Learn the Art of Gueril­la Film­mak­ing & Lock-Pick­ing

Wern­er Her­zog Picks His 5 Favorite Films

Por­trait Wern­er Her­zog: The Director’s Auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal Short Film from 1986

Wern­er Her­zog Gets Shot Dur­ing Inter­view, Doesn’t Miss a Beat

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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