|Screenshot & excerpt from A Meeting with Werner Herzog/Full MasterClass at Festival de Cine 4mas1/Rio de Janeiro2012)|
„My postulate is: Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read!
If you don't read, you will never be a filmmaker - a good filmmaker. You don’t need to read books about filmmaking. Stay away from them! Read poetry, read books that in a way show you a certain depth into the world. I would like to give you one example, a book that you MUST read. Everyone who wants to make films has to read at least one book which is The Peregrine by J.A. Baker. It’s about peregrine falcons.
The book was published in 1967 and we know nothing about J.A. Baker. Almost nothing. We probably know that he worked as a clerk in a library for a short period of time. But that’s all. We don’t even know when he was born, we don’t know when he died. The Peregrine was written in a moment when peregrine falcons were on a brink of extinction in Great Britain. There were only a dozen or fifteen healthy pairs of breathing peregrine falcons left due to fertilizers and all the poison in the field. He describes, he observes the falcon, the life, the flight and the way falcons' hunting with great, great precision.
What it makes this book so extraordinary for filmmakers is the precision of observation. It is absolutely extraordinary to look at the real world - in this case are only falcons, not human beings. Sometimes he says how much he hates the human beings, their flailing arms and the loud voices. Sometimes the human beings are mentioned but he speaks mostly about the magnificence of the falcons and how they hunt and it’s a very cruel hunt. There’s no sentimentality, no romanticizing in it.
The real important thing is he describes a part of the world with such a ferocious passion. He’s absolutely passionate, he’s going into ecstasy, he steps outside of himself in such a delirium of illumination of what he sees. He describes, for example, how a falcon soars up high, higher and higher, reaching the zenith and then he swoops down. And all of a sudden he says „We, we are diving down, we are hunting a bird, we…” as if he were a falcon himself.
And when you immerse yourself into any part of the physical world, human beings, falcons, landscapes, political subjects, anything, it doesn’t matter, that’s the attitude you have to have as a filmmaker. You should have the spirit of Baker
So, The Peregrine
of J.A. Baker
(…): you have to read it! It’s very easy to find it on Internet. You have to read it in English. It cannot really be translated because the prose, the text has such a beauty, an intensity… It’s a language that we have not seen in Joseph Conrad
. And if you don’t know English, learn it, so that you can read it in English.”
Bonus (în spaniolă):
[mi-e lene să traduc şi oricum e uşor de înţeles]
„Los estudios de cine son como una enfermedad. Manténgase alejados de eso,
aléjense. Esta actividad puramente cerebral, intelectual y académica de ver peliculas. La academia es el enemigo, va a matar todos los instintos que usted tiene. Por favor, tengan mucho cuidado. Saben lo que quiero decir. La conversación académica, estas interpretaciones postmodernistas sobre las proyecciones etc., es lo que constituyen filosóficamente. No, por favor: hagan sus maletas y escapen. Huyan lo más rápido que puedan.”
Aş lipi partea asta în spaniolă, dar şi cealaltă, de un lucru pe care mi-l spunea cineva la un moment dat. N-am să-i dau numele, însă sunt sigur că veţi recunoaşte stilul (y compris, omul) printre rânduri:
«(...) ac cantonare in zona 'cinematograficului pur' este (cred) o eroare (& very boring in the process!)... e ceea ce au preluat (...) din pacate, toti acei 'cinefiluti' de la 'film menu' - care scriu kestii luuungi - & satioase - & atoase - in care analizeaza 'decit' cum misca camera x sau y... wtf cares?!, asta e unul dintre motivele care m-au facut sa nu mai am kef de critik de film: dk ea se inkide intr-un jargon anost & neaerisit, fara a se deskide spre 'paradigma momentului', why shd anyone bother??»