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“Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere”: Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice

"Carry Bolt Cutters Everywhere": Werner Herzog Has 24 Amazing Pieces Of Advice

There are directors, and there are artists, and then there is Werner Herzog. He stands alone, occupying his own Werner Herzog-ian place in the movie world, and even when he pops up as a villain in “Jack Reacher,” or in a cameo role in “Parks And Recreation,” he can’t escape the distinct essence of being Werner Herzog. Nor would we want him to. But for those not familiar with the man or his work, describing those qualities that make Herzog, well, Herzog, can be difficult. But this should help.

On the back cover of the recent book “Werner HerzogA Guide for the Perplexed” by Paul Cronin, are 24 maxims by German director. Some apply to film, some apply to life, and all of them are worth reading. Revenge, bears, bolt cutters, jail…Herzog has you prepared for any and every situation, if only you follow these simple rules. If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions just yet, here’s a good place to start getting inspiration to make some changes in your life. [via Open Culture]

1. Always take the initiative.
2. There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need.
3. Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
4. Never wallow in your troubles; despair must be kept private and brief.
5. Learn to live with your mistakes.
6. Expand your knowledge and understanding of music and literature, old and modern.
7. That roll of unexposed celluloid you have in your hand might be the last in existence, so do something impressive with it.
8. There is never an excuse not to finish a film.
9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
10. Thwart institutional cowardice.
11. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
12. Take your fate into your own hands.
13. Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
14. Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
15. Walk straight ahead, never detour.
16. Manoeuvre and mislead, but always deliver.
17. Don’t be fearful of rejection.
18. Develop your own voice.
19. Day one is the point of no return.
20. A badge of honor is to fail a film theory class.
21. Chance is the lifeblood of cinema.
22. Guerrilla tactics are best.
23. Take revenge if need be.
24. Get used to the bear behind you.

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You can use the bolt-cutters to extract revenge and thwart institutional cowardice.



He’s not speaking of literal bolt cuttes, learn to read between the lines.
He’s saying don’t let anything stop you on your journey through life. Losers give up and go home when they hit a wall, winners go over or through the wall (or build a door/ladder and charge others to use it)


yeah hey destroy private property, trespass and what spend one night in jail? Of course, bolt cutters alone would get a burglary charge and that means more than a single night in jail plus how much in court costs, fines, attorney fees, house arrest, etc. Sounds like advice to be cute and pretend


Ma’ favorite:
"9. Carry bolt cutters everywhere." Because "Private Property" signs are mere suggestions.


This is going in my file with Jim Jarmusch’s "Things I Have Learned" and Milton Glaser’s " Ten Things I Have Learned" accumulated advice pieces.

Cream Peace

The bolt cutter are as a similie. You are born, you die, and in between you scythe meaninglessly with useless tools in the false hope of a glimmer of meaning.

Casey Adams Stark

I like #20. I didn’t fail mine, but I get frustrated by those who can’t think beyond the "rules."


The bolt cutters are obviously a reference to Grizzly Man, Timmy Treadwell. You never knoe when youre going to need to give yourself a haircut with no mirror around.

stupid list

lose, not loose. idiot


Why revenge? That’s stupid. If your action is to teach a lesson and makes the offender wiser and more compassionate, it’s not revenge. If it it hurts the person, onky, it hurts the world, and you are just a hioligan and a sabateur and immature and dangerous.


the bolt cutters is a metaphor to me it means cut loose any negativity in your life..


Im a rude c u n t.

Paul Kemp

Have you seen Mad Max:Fury Road? The real hero of that movie: the bolt cutters.


After every one of these, ask yourself, "What would Sarah Jones think of this?" This is EXACTLY the sort of thinking that gets people hurt. No,just NO.


What amazing advice! Except of course we learned from the Midnight Rider death and injuries that most of this is terrible advice.


…simply ask him: ”just think about it. what if.”


sometimes an actor needs suplimentary motivation, so you take his hand, extend the pinky finger, and…


Herzog was shot with an air gun during an interview, but he wanted to continue saying: "its an insignificant wound."


You need bolt cutters to make you spend a night in jail :)

Jer R.

No coincidence that the greats almost always have generally the same advice.


Werner was really scary in Jack Reacher, even knowing who it was. I bet he was carrying bolt cutters in his back pocket the whole time.


Rule #25, Never go camping with people who think they can talk to Bears,


"If you wanna know something but the manager won’t tell you, cut off a finger… the little one. Then tell him the thumbs next. After that he’ll tell you if he wears ladies underwear. …. I’m hungry. Let’s get a taco."

Joseph Angier

"Guerrilla tactics" sounds like a brave and creative choice, until a "Midnight Rider" situation comes along.


you need bolt cutters to get through the physical barriers you face…that will also act as a tool for your mental barriers.


as an Austrian I strongly have to protest the notion that Werner Herzog is German!!!


"Get used to the bear behind you"… somewhere this makes me think of temple run


he is a genius and a criminal.
i read his lines like "There is nothing wrong with spending a night in jail if it means getting the shot you need", "Carry bolt cutters everywhere’ and "Guerrilla tactics are best" as i read about another person being killed while working on live RR tracks and think about the people working under horrible conditions who died (actor and several crew) so Fitzcarraldo could be completed.
i believe Hertzog himself called it a "Conquest of the Useless" … sounds about right

elliot medow

Locks are made to be broken.


I think they’ll be to cut bolts with.

Matthew Davis

They are good to have if the PA looses the key to the lock on the back of production/art/grip/electric truck. Plus sometimes you just need bolt cutters.


You need werner to tell you what to do with them too? christ use your imagination

Wizard Gynoid

what do you need the bolt cutters for? to cut locks off so you can break into places?

Elizabeth English

What a wonderful movie Thank You!

Jack de Jong

Its all in our mind, freedom, respect, religion and love!
Does anyone chooses his own birth? Now thats what i call freedom and a opportunity to change!
We are just a slave of the system as far i can see, no matter what your doing.
So what we’re talking about, I think its bla bla bla in time.

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