May 21, 2007

Jay Diaz meets Werner Herzog

Jaguarman: Tell Todd to post something on the JudoAirLines blog. Could you tell him to post something music related? Or your story of meeting the great Herzog this past weekend?
Jay: Nice.

Jaguarman: Or let me interview you right now for it.
Jay:Haha, ok.

Jaguarman: First off, where did you hear that Herzog would be in New York?
Jay: My friend Adriana called and told me. She just moved to Brooklyn and found out his "nonfiction" films were being screened at the Film Forum all month.

Jaguarman: Did you go there with low expectations? Thinking there's a chance you may not see him at all? Or were they high, like you envisioned bro-ing down with him at a bar or after party event?
Jay: A little bit of both. Of course I was daydreaming of hanging out with him, drinking good Bavarian beer talking about absurd was a cold rainy day and we got there right before it was sold out...we waited for standby tickets and just made it in...though he was in the lobby the entire time we were in line. He was standing at a table speaking to various people.

Jaguarman: Did you notice alot of other people there, being giddy or starstruck, or was it a rather mature, mellow atmosphere?
Jay: It was pretty laid back...some people seemed a little giddy...he was signing a few autographs and people were taking their pictures with him...I was probably the giddiest maniac there...I usually don't get that way around celebrity types; would rather leave them be...but it was Herzog, a personal hero of mine and major influence.

Jaguarman: How many books and films would you say you saw of his and what is your favorite work of his?
Jay:The only book I've read that was specifically about him was Herzog On Herzog...I own a few others that focus on New German Cinema as a whole...I've seen about 16 or 17 of his films I think...It's hard to make a decision on my favorite especially considering he makes documentaries and fiction...I'd have to say it's between Fata Morgana, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Aguire: The Wrath of God, or Stroszek.

Jaguarman: Ok, so how did you approach this guy? Were you confident and assertive or were you sly and creepy?
Jay: Pretty sly and creepy...well just creepy...I walked by him a few times to "go to the bathroom"...after Adriana and I got our tickets I stood by him and waited until he was finished taking his picture with someone. plotting my moves and approach...I think I called him Mr. Herzog and asked him if I could get a picture...He put his arm around me and Adriana took a pic with my cellphone.

Jaguarman: What else did he say/do?
Jay:After the photo he took the phone from Adriana and looked at the pic and spoke of how amazing picture phones are and asked if it also took video bits...I said 'yeah' and he proceeded to speak of how incredible it is and the omniprescence of these things in our society...Adriana and I were both nervous and stumbling over our words...He made a few small remarks and I then shook his hand and thanked him...he was very down to earth and self effacing; a very warm hearted man.

Jaguarman: And finally, what is the next project you are going to work on and will this Herzog encounter influence it?
Jay: There are a few but the one I plan to direct is going to be co-written with Todd Womelsdorf. His(Herzog's) influence on me is more personal than filmic. The films I've made and plan to make are stupid and trite love stories or situations, he would probably hate them. Though his influence is more severe on life than film. For example, how he stole his first camera and took it to the Peruvian Jungle to make Aguire...he and the crew lived on rafts and in huts...that's insane...but his drive and the way he deals with things and let's nothing stand in his way and his insanity and madness is what inspires me...I catch myself in certain situations asking myself what Herzog would do. -End

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