No one should be the flies on the wall

Greenwich Street (I Thought, 'Oh My God I Can't Take It Any Longer,') ©MAIERMOUL
Greenwich Street (I Thought, ‘Oh My God I Can’t Take It Any Longer,’) ©MAIERMOUL

You should gain experience in life and I would advise everyone don’t spend time in film school.

If you travel by foot for four months, it’s better than four years in film school. Read. Read. It gives you different perspectives. You enter in a different way. Doing essential things like raising children, those who have done it are normally better grounded in reality. Otherwise it’s not going to function.

Long ago at a festival where I was on a panel, they were raving about Cinéma Vérité. A young woman was exuberant, saying that one had to be a fly on the wall. I thought, ‘Oh my God I can’t take it any longer,’ and grabbed the microphone and said, ‘No one should be the flies on the wall. We’re the hornets that have to sting.’ You’re not the security camera in the bank with video running for two and a half hours, waiting for that someone who steals money.

– Werner Herzog, Master Class at the Locarno Film Festival, reported by Susan Kouguell