Werner Herzog on the jungle

Werner Herzog talks about the jungle. From Burden of Dreams, about the making of Fitzcarraldo. [HT Erik Davis]

"Nature here is violent, base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and, just, rotting away. Of course there is a lot of misery, but it is the same misery that is 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.

It’s a unfinished country. It is prehistorical. The only thing that is lacking is the dinosaur, yeah. It is like a curse laying on the entire landscape. And whoever goes too deep into this, has his share of that curse. So, we are cursed with what we are doing here. It’s a land that God, if he exists, has created in anger. It’s the only land where creation is unfinished yet. Taking a close look at what’s around us, there is some sort of a harmony. It is the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder. And we, in comparison to the articulate vileness and baseness and obscenity of all this jungle, we in comparison to that enormous articulation, we only sound and look like badly pronounced and half-finished sentences out of a stupid suburban novel, a cheap novel. And we have to become humble in front of this overwhelming misery and overwhelming fornication and overwhelming growth and overwhelming lack of order. Even the stars, the stars appear in the sky, look like a mess. There is no harmony in the universe. We have to get acquainted to this idea that there is no real harmony as we have conceived it. But, when I say this, I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it. I love it. I love it very much. But, I love it against my better judgement.”