Cinema Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Slought Foundation, Philadelphia are pleased to announce a conversation with filmmaker Werner Herzog and Karen Beckman on Thursday, October 25, 2007 from 7:30-8:30pm. The conversation has been organized on the occasion of the opening for "Ecstatic Truth: Documenting Herzog 'Documenting,'" an exhibition exploring the work of Werner Herzog, on display in the Slought Foundation galleries from October 22 through November 15, 2007 (here for more information). The exhibition will include manifestos, films, and photographs that engage Herzog's continued explorations of "ecstatic truth" and the boundary between fiction and documentary practice.
Photo Caption: Beat Presser, "Werner Herzog, Iquitos," May 1981.
"We are immediately in the realm of poetry -- whether or not the audience knows the quote is a fake -- which inevitably strikes a more profound chord than mere reportage. With Pascal you are immersed in the cosmic even before the first picture appears on the screen, and Lessons of Darkness never lets you down until its last frame. It holds you up there without shame, something I do with real pride and with the confidence that I am not manipulating the audience in any way. Pascal himself could not have written it better! After the quote the film continues with the voice-over talking of 'Wide mountain ranges, the valleys enshrouded in mist.' What I actually filmed were little heaps of dust and soil created by the tires of trucks. These 'mountain ranges' were no more than a foot high. I keep telling young people who always ask with hesitation in their voice about history and concoction and invention that this is what cinema is about." -- Werner Herzog, -Herzog on Herzog, 243 (2002)
For more information on other events and activities organized around Werner Herzog's Fall 2007 visit, organized by the Cinema Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania, please visit www.cinemastudies.upenn.edu or download the poster (PDF). Please note that a public conversation about the work of Werner Herzog will also take place on Monday, October 22, 2007 from 6:30-8:00pm at Slought Foundation, featuring Timothy Corrigan, Thomas Y. Levin, Heidi Schlipphacke, and Alan Singer in a conversation introduced by Karen Beckman (here for more information).
Werner Herzog, one of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema, was born in Munich in 1942. Herzog has gained notoriety not only for his fantastic narratives but also for pushing himself and his crew to unprecedented lengths in order to achieve the effects he demanded. He has produced, written, and directed more than forty films, published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas. Herzog’s works explore the boundary between fiction and documentary practice, and aim for “ecstatic truth” in the form of an event-based dynamic and “the feeling of being an observer dragged into the scene.” In lieu of a filmography, Slought Foundation is pleased to reproduce below Herzog's "Minnesota declaration," a series of principles outlining his practice, originally presented in a 1999 appearance at the Walker Art Center on the occasion of a 14-film retrospective at that museum.
Karen Beckman is Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of Cinema Studies Program.
This program was made possible in part through the generous sponsorship of the Jerry and Emily Spiegel Funds in Fine Arts, the Cinema Studies Program, the Department of German, and the Department of English at the University of Pennsylvania. We would also like to thank International House of Philadelphia, the Society of Friends of the Slought Foundation, and the Roy & Niuta Titus Foundation. Very special thanks for organizing the Werner Herzog's Fall 2007 visit at the University of Pennsylvania goes to Paul Holdengräber, Nathaniel Kahn, Nicola M. Gentili, Timothy Corrigan, and Karen Beckman.
Media files on the Slought.org website are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
Werner Herzog, et al. "On the Ecstasy of Ski-Flying." Slought Foundation Online Content. [25 October 2007;
Accessed 18 May 2013]. <http://slought.org/content/11393/>.