“My films have been about the same things, the same chaos, for 40 years. They are look­ing into the abyss of time. Or any abyss. The cave is an abyss. My next film is on death row. That will also be an abyss pic­ture”

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

get the light right and the bat­tery runs out. And on and on.”

Strange things hap­pen around en­coun­ters with Werner Her­zog. In 2006, dur­ing an in­ter­view with the BBC’s Mark Ker­mode, an un­known as­sailant with an air ri­fle took a shot at him. Her­zog looked down at the wound, noted that “it [was] not a sig­nif­i­cant bul­let” and car­ried on giv­ing an­swers. Back at the Ritzy we can still see the body. I’ve al­ready over­heard his pro­ducer de­scribe the sit­u­a­tion as a very Her­zo­gian one. But when I men­tion as much to the di­rec­tor he isn’t hav­ing any of it.

“No, no, no,” he says. “I am not sim­ply about death. There is a lot of hu­mour in my films, in­clud­ing this one. It goes com­pletely wild into a science-fic­tion fan­tasy with al­bino croc­o­diles and mu­tants.”

Like his back cat­a­logue, the man François Truf­faut once de­scribed as “the most im­por­tant film di­rec­tor alive” is drily con­trar­ian. Even when he’s agree­ing with you he’s in­clined to pref­ace his re­sponses with “no” or a small shake of the head.

“I love cin­ema but I do not watch cin­ema,” he says. “I make cin­ema. That’s okay. What’s wrong about that? I have staged op­eras, but I never go to them ei­ther. I lis­ten to the CDs and work on the pro­duc­tions, but I never, ever go to the opera house as a spec­ta­tor. I went a few times long ago and found it very dis­ap­point­ing. I do not need to see other op­eras staged in or­der to stage my own. There are some film-mak­ers who see two or three films a day. Quentin Tarantino grew up in a vidéothèque watch­ing two or three trash movies a day and he loved it. I’m dif­fer­ent. It’s

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