Allan Berg, my fellow blogger, is fascinated by Werner Herzog. And indeed, he is a great filmmaker, who has brought something new to the documentary genre. “Little Dieter Needs to Fly”, as an example, is a pure masterpiece.
Allan advises you to go to the Werner Herzog site to read his Minnesota Declaration, which he made to comment on what he calls the cinéma vérité. Allan writes in Danish, the declaration is in English.
Fun to read it is and inspiring, but also nonsense from the side of Herzog to denounce – let´s call it that – the observational documentary cinema. Is there no truth in what Sergey Dvortsevoy does, or what about Herz Frank, Pennebaker, Leacock, Wiseman? Is it reasonable to reduce observational documentary to mere search of facts…
Of course not, and Herzog knows that, and that is why he publicly excused his provocative Minnesota statement at a meeting where all the old boys – Maysles included, he is probably the one that Herzog refers to when he says that he has heard a filmmaker say that he can find the truth by observation, by being there – were present.
But fun reading. The documentary genre is alive and kicking. The diversity is a sign of good health for the genre.