Gruff German auteur Werner Herzog may not be a household name everywhere, but if your household contains any art school dropouts, subscribers of Harper’s, or film enthusiasts, then you most likely know who he is. A talented filmmaker and rugged individualist, Herzog brings the refreshing experience of having actively participated in the world to his feature-length films and documentaries. He’s lugged boats over mountains, confronted murderers on death row, been shot with an air rifle while giving an interview, and managed to make a movie with Nicholas Cage that doesn’t embarrass either one of them. Applicants to his Rogue Film School are advised that it’s an experience for those who are “willing to learn about lock picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favoring their projects.”
In short, Herzog is someone actually qualified to give life advice (and should probably offer Scared Straight-style relationship seminars to uncertain young men with dreams of a future in cinema, as this would do their future girlfriends a huge favor). Here are five significant pieces of wisdom from Herzog gleaned from his 70 years on this planet. You may apply them to your own life, provided laziness or grad school don’t get in the way first.