“They Call Me Mad”: The Early films of “Manic Genius” Werner Herzog

Why We Recommend it

Co-presented by Goethe-Institut Hong Kong and 42nd Hong Kong International Film Festival, this retrospective will screen the early works of one of cinema’s most controversial and enigmatic filmmakers, Werner Herzog.


“They call me ‘mad’. But I don’t care. The only thing that counts is what’s up on the screen.”

Werner Herzog (1942) is a German screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director who is best known for his films and documentaries in which real life and fiction feed off each other for inspiration. Recurring themes in his works are destruction and the demise of the individual.

Herzog has a reputation of going to extremes to realise his vision, to the point of risking his own and other people’s lives. These stories include his threat to kill anyone who tried to halt his filming of Signs of Life (1968), his first feature movie.

His worldview often seems bleak and distressing, featuring a balance between anti-humanistic views about civilisation and a genuine sympathy for individuals. Many of his heroes are quixotic outsiders who reject or are rejected by society, only to be crushed by the weight of their own ambitions.

This retrospective of Herzog’s early works represents his audacity and fearless vision as an elusive auteur. The programme includes Cannes Award winning 1974 drama film The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser and  the lauded experimental film Heart of Glass (1976). Herzog will be in Hong Kong to conduct masterclasses as a part of the 2018 Hong Kong Film Festival.

[photo credit: © Werner Herzog Film]


When: 6 Jan 2018 - 11 Feb 2018 Where: Various, Hong Kong