Legendary director Werner Herzog, one of the founders of the German New Wave, whose films embrace obsessive quests and maddening conflicts with nature, will receive the American Society of Cinematographers’ Board of Governors Award at the 34th annual ASC Awards on January 25 (at Hollywood & Highland’s Ray Dolby Ballroom).
“Werner Herzog is truly a unique storyteller, and we are honored to recognize him for his prolific contributions to cinema,” said ASC President Kees van Oostrum.
Herzog has produced, written, and directed more than 70 feature and documentary films. His volatile, love-hate relationship with actor Klaus Kinski resulted in such powerful films as “Aguirre, the Wrath of God,” “Fitzcarraldo,” “Nosferatu the Vampyre,” and “Woyzeck.” Other masterpieces include “Stroszek” and “The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser,” both starring street musician-turned actor Bruno S.
Herzog received an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature for “Encounters at the End of the World,” while “Little Dieter Needs to Fly” was Emmy-nominated for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special.
Recent standouts include “Meeting Gorbachev,” in which Herzog sat down with the former president of the Soviet Union to discuss his achievements and global events in the 21st century, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” a 3D documentary about the Chauvet Cave in southern France, and “Queen of the Desert,” a biopic about pioneering British explorer Gertrude Bell (Nicole Kidman) at the dawn of the 20th century.
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In 2019, however, Herzog premiered “Family Romance, LLC” at the Cannes Film Festival: a Japanese-set drama about a man hired to impersonate the missing father of a young girl, serving as his own cinematographer. It was financed with the money he made playing The Client in “The Mandalorian,” the Disney + “Star Wars” series directed by Jon Favreau.
Among the cinematographers that Herzog has collaborated with to create surreal or realistic visual styles include Thomas Mauch (“Aguirre,” “Stroszek,” “Fitzcarraldo”), Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein (“The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser” and “Nosferatu”) and Peter Zeitlinger (“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call — New Orleans,” “Encounters at the End of the World”).
Previous recipients of the ASC Board of Governors Award include Jeff Bridges, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, Ridley Scott, Barbra Streisand, Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Christopher Nolan, Morgan Freeman, Francis Ford Coppola, Sally Field, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg.