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Last modified: Thursday, August 9, 2012

Filmmaker Werner Herzog will lecture and screen films at Indiana University

Aug. 9, 2012

NOTE: The venue for filmmaker Werner Herzog's "The Transformative Role of Music in Film" lecture has been moved to the IU Auditorium. The lecture begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free, and tickets are not required.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog will visit Indiana University Bloomington in September to deliver two Patten Lectures and to take part in the screening of several of his films at the Indiana University Cinema.

Herzog is a filmmaker of international fame, an artist and a public intellectual. Since 1962, he has directed more than 50 films, acted in a dozen films, directed more than 20 opera productions and published numerous books, screenplays and articles.


Photo courtesy of CDTV

Werner Herzog during the filming of "Into the Abyss"

Print-Quality Photo

"Werner Herzog is one of the most inventive and influential filmmakers working today, and his many powerful cinematic works convey how films can simultaneously entertain and provoke," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "Indeed, Herzog's remarkable films are renowned for seizing our attention, while also revealing insight about humankind as well as the often painstaking process of artistic creation. We are extremely pleased that he has agreed to participate in the Patten Lecture series and screening of several of his works at IU Cinema."

Herzog will speak Tuesday, Sept. 11, and Thursday, Sept. 13, as part of IU's Patten Lecture series. The Sept. 11 lecture will take place from 7:30 to 9 p.m. in Whittenberger Auditorium at the Indiana Memorial Union, and the Sept. 13 lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m. at IU Auditorium. Admission is free, and tickets are not required. Lecture topics will be:

  • "The Search for Ecstatic Truth," Sept. 11 -- As a result of the massive spread of virtual realities, Herzog says, our sense of "reality" has been called into question. But sometimes facts so exceed our expectations -- have such an unusual, bizarre power -- that they seem unbelievable. In the fine arts, music, literature and cinema, it is possible to reach a deeper stratum of truth: a poetic, ecstatic truth that is mysterious and can only be grasped with effort.
  • "The Transformative Role of Music in Film," Sept. 13 -- The role of music will be demonstrated with clips from directors such as Satyajit Ray and the Taviani brothers, showing the ability of music to heighten the emotional shape and impact of a scene. Music and image can also transform each other via juxtaposition, affecting the audience's perspectives on narrative, character and theme and producing emotions and ideas that do not exist in the image alone.

The lectures are sponsored by the William T. Patten Foundation, which conducts the lecture series under the auspices of the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

In addition to the lectures, Indiana University Cinema will screen nine of Herzog's films, along with Les Blank's documentary about Herzog's single-minded determination when shooting "Fitzcarraldo."

"Herzog's filmography is extensive, so we have tried to build a program that is a good survey of his career. It was critical to screen some of his lesser-known titles that are very important to him," IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said. "As a director, Herzog challenges the lines between traditional, narrative feature and documentary film, and is one of the leading figures of world cinema. We're thrilled to be able to offer this series of his work, and to welcome him to the IU campus."

Screenings are:

  • Blank's "Burden of Dreams," 7 p.m. Aug. 28
  • "Fata Morgana," 9:30 p.m. Sept. 8
  • "Land of Silence and Darkness," 3 p.m. Sept. 9
  • "Aguirre, Wrath of God," 7 p.m. Sept. 10
  • "Fitzcarraldo," 7 p.m. Sept. 12
  • "Grizzly Man," 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14
  • "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans," 9 p.m. Sept. 14
  • "Nosferatu the Vampyre," 11:59 p.m. Sept. 14
  • "The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser," 3 p.m. Sept. 16
  • "Into the Abyss," 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16

Herzog is expected to be in attendance at "Aguirre, Wrath of God," "Fitzcarraldo," "Grizzly Man" and "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans." As part of the series, IU Cinema will host the world premieres of digitally restored versions of "Aguirre, Wrath of God," "Fitzcarraldo" and "Nosferatu the Vampyre."

Tickets for the film series are $3 for each screening except "Grizzly Man," which is free. Tickets can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 30 minutes before each screening at IU Cinema. For ticketing information, call 812-855-1103.

Associated early on with the New German Cinema, Herzog has made scores of feature films and documentaries. He brings together a powerful artistic vision with a capacity for critical reflection. A Herzog film is often infused with his own reflections and philosophies, interesting character studies and distinct landscapes. He made a series of narrative, documentary and short films early in his career, including "Fata Morgana," "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" and "Stroszek." He is probably best known and most critically acclaimed for a remarkable series of feature-length documentaries, including "Grizzly Man," "Encounters at the End of the World" and "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."

For more on Herzog and his films, see the biography on the Patten Lectures website.

The Patten Lecture series was established in 1937 with an endowment from William T. Patten, an 1893 graduate of the university.

For more information about IU Cinema, including a schedule of films and additional guest filmmakers such as Claire Denis, Walter Salles, Todd Solondz and Crispin Glover, visit