Everything to do with Werner Herzog gets me excited. His movies, his approach to making movies, his life and his approach to living his life. This idolatry of him has caught on with more of the public in recent months. Case in point: the internet trend of appropriating Chuck Norris hyperbole and inserting a ludicrous Herzog assertion on top of it (Norris knocked out a bear with one punch. Herzog telepathically commanded 400 monkeys to tear it limb from limb. OR: Chuck Norris uses live rattlesnakes for a belt. Herzog uses Chuck Norris).
When he decides to lend his persona to other projects (like playing the Father in Harmony Korine’s Julien Donkey-Boy) it’s particularly noteworthy. It is very revealing for a man who zigs and zags through life as much as Herzog to support someone else’s project. He is charismatically obtuse about contemporary cinema when discussing it in interviews. Him lending support to a project is as close to a “thumbs-up” as we’re likely to get out of him.
So, his latest piece of chosen material, this fantastic short film about the life of a plastic bag. It follows the bag from the glory days in the grocery store to the down-and-out days thereafter. Ramin Bahrani is the mustache-twirler behind this diabolically tragic (and funny) short. Obviously the hook is that Herzog himself lends his voice to characterize the bag. I never thought a plastic bag would have such a thick, German, accent. After watching it I’ll never think otherwise again.