journalist: could you tell us about the social usage of film? what is the value of films for society?
werner herzog: who is society? i don't know. less i have kept wondering ever since i've been in contact with audiences and i've wondered what the value of films was. and i think, i dont know, it gives us some insight. it doesn't change people, i thought it would, films could cause revolutions or whatever and it does not. but films might change our perspective of things and ultimately in the long term it may be something valuable, but there's a lot of absurdity involved as well. as you see, it makes me into a clown. and that happens to everyone. just look at orson welles, look at people like (unintelligible), they have become clowns.
j: is it the film or is it the publicity involved?
wh: it's because what we do as filmmakers is immaterial. it's only a projection of light, and doing that all your life makes you a clown, and it's an almost inevitable process.
j: i would feel the same way about still photography.
wh: yes, a little bit. it comes close to it, it's illusionist work. and it's just embarrassing to be a filmmaker and just sit here like this. i mean, thank heavens i don't sit here for my own films, i'm sitting here for a film that was made for a friend of mine.
"So let’s have a drink of Coke. It’s getting warm. It’s no longer the real Coke, and that’s the problem. You know, this passage from sublime to excremental dimension. When it’s cold, properly served, it has a certain attraction. All of a sudden this can change into shit. It’s the elementary dialectics of commodities."
— Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert's Guide to Ideology
“I, as a child, grasped the incompatibility of God and shit and thus came to question the basic thesis of Christian anthropology, namely, that man was created in God’s image. Either/or: either man was created in God’s image – and God has intestines! – or God lacks intestines and man is not like Him.”
“Shit is a more onerous theological problem than is evil. Since God gave man freedom, we can, if need be, accept the idea that He is not responsible for man’s crimes. The responsibility for shit, however, rests entirely with HIm, the Creator of man.”
“The fact that until recently the word “shit” appeared in print as s— has nothing to do with moral considerations. You can’t claim that shit is immoral, after all! The objection to shit is a metaphysical one. The daily defecation session is daily proof of the unacceptability of Creation. Either/or: either shit is acceptable (in which case don’t lock yourself in your bathroom!) or we are created in an unacceptable manner.”
— Milan Kundera, The Eternal Lightness of Being