HERZOG ON HERZOG

Paul Cronin’s book Herzog on Herzog, published in the UK by Faber and Faber on November 4, 2002, mentions Korine several times, including a credit of thanks in the introduction. Herzog himself is responsible for the other mentions, first with the following story:

One aspect of who I am that might be important is the communication defect I have had since I was a young child. I am someone who takes everything very literally. I simply do not understand irony, a defect I have had since I was able to think independently. Let me explain by telling a story. A few weeks ago I received a phone call at my apartment from a painter who lives just down the street from me. He tells me he wants to sell me his paintings, and because I live in the same neighbourhood, he says he wants to give me a good deal on his work. he starts to argue with me, saying I can have this painting for only ten dollars or even less. I try to get him off the phone, saying, “Sir, I am sorry but I do not have any paintings in my apartment. I have only maps on my walls. Sometimes photos, but I would never have a painted picture on my walls, no matter who made it.” And he kept on until all of a sudden he starts to laugh. I think: I know this laughter. And he did not change his voice one bit when the painter announced that it was my friend, Harmony Korine.

Korine is mentioned a second time when later discussing julien donkey-boy:

Originally, [Korine] was going to act as my son, but in the end he did not feel comfortable enough to be behind and in front of the camera at the same time. So he did not just cast me in the role only because I was the right age and looked right; it was much more significant for him than that. He wanted his ‘cinematic father’ to be in the film even if the character I play is completely dysfunctional and hostile.”

The last mention occurs when conversation turns to Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy:

Let us bring Harmony Korine back again; he loves the book because it does not have a linear narrative, and of course harmony is not the man to tell his own stories as a normal movie story flows. His approach, like Sterne’s, has much more to do with associations and strange jumps and contradictions and wild ravings and rantings.

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