Although he is a formidable filmmaker, equally as adept with documentaries as he is with dramas, director Werner Herzog is probably better known to your average American internet-goer as a go-to source of German impersonation. Most notably an inspiration for Hugo Weaving‘s Red Skull accent, Herzog has also been impersonated reading Curious George, directing Ant-Man, and generally appearing in any skit that calls for a mixture of existential dread and a friendly, mannered accent.
The Daily Beast‘s Jen Yamato (full disclosure: a friend of mine) may have found the perfect way to segue the perception of Herzog the internet meme into Herzog the filmmaker. As part of a feature to promote his newest movie, Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World, and his new online film school, she got the auteur to offer his commentary on Kanye West‘s “Famous” video, featuring naked celebrity impersonators in bed together.
At least, that’s how you or I might describe it. Herzog, however, has a more unique take:
Our understanding of self has in a way deeply and radically changed and it’s very fascinating what’s going on out there, and there is all of a sudden a guy out there in the world of rappers who is doing something that I’ve always tried to get across to people who want to make movies – I try to explain to them that there is not just a story that you are telling, and you are concocting some sort of relationship between people and you have a flow of narration; sometimes it accelerates, sometimes it slows down, sometimes it gives you – and I try to embed, to implant moments where time doesn’t matter any more – there’s a standstill. There is only breathing, and all of a sudden the audience can depart and look ahead of things like in a romantic comedy.
He goes on to note that he would definitely accept “Kane” West into his film school on the basis of the video, which “shows us the internet can be beyond 60 second cat videos – although I like them as well!”
The video, complete with commentary, can be seen over at The Daily Beast, but with all its nudity it is most definitely NSFW.
Has Herzog expanded your appreciation of what a Kanye West video can be? Are you still baffled? Wade into the virtual shores of our comments and offer a seashell of wisdom and perception (sorry, I can’t do it as well as he can!).
Featured Image: Raffi Asdourian/Flickr