Werner Herzog on “Old” Nature

Allison Guy
September 27th 2013

Leave it to our pal Werner Herzog to craft an unsettling, uncanny and unromantic view of "old" nature. Lest we think of the rainforest as a happy place full of cavorting monkeys and pretty butterflies, Herzog is here to set us straight:

"Of course we’re challenging nature and it hits back, it just hits back, that’s all, and that’s [the] grandiose [thing] about it, and we just have to accept that it’s much stronger than we are. Kinski always says it’s full of erotic elements. I don’t see it so much [as] erotic, I see it more [as] full of obscenity. It’s just… nature here is vile and base. I wouldn’t see anything erotic here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and… just rotting away. Of course, there’s a lot of misery. But it’s the same misery that’s all around us. The trees here are in misery, the birds are in misery. I don’t think they sing, they just screech in pain…"

Quote from Les Blank's Burden of Dreams. Painting by Tess Recordon.

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