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Werner Herzog

Filmmaker

Born: 5 September 1942
Birthplace: Sachrang, Germany
Best known as: German filmmaker who made Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Name at birth: Werner Stipetic

Film critics can't seem to decide whether Werner Herzog is a genius or charlatan, but his position as one of the most well-known German "new wave" filmmakers of the late 20th century is assured. Known for making allegorical films in exotic locations, Werner Herzog worked briefly in American television before making documentaries and short subjects. He has a reputation for an intense -- some would say obsessive -- vision and commitment, but naysayers harp on his storytelling deficiencies. The movies that made his career starred Klaus Kinski and include Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1973), Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1978) and Fitzcarraldo (1982). In recent years he has had more commercial success and found a broader audiences with the films Grizzly Man (2005, about Timothy Treadwell) and Rescue Dawn (2006, starring Christian Bale) as Herzog's friend Dieter Dengler).

Extra credit: Herzog made a documentary about Kinski called My Best Fiend (1999, original title Mein liebster Feind)... The 1982 documentary Burden of Dreams was a behind-the-scenes look at the filming of Fitzcarraldo.

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More on Werner Herzog from Infoplease:

  • Werner Herzog - Biography of Werner Herzog, German filmmaker who made Aguirre: The Wrath of God
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  • 1975 Cannes Film Festival - 1975 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or Chronicle of the Burning Years, Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina ...
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