Werner Herzog: ‘I’m not a pundit. Don’t push me into that corner’

Charles Bramesco in The Guardian:

Director-documentarian-deity Werner Herzog has stared death in the face, blazed a path through madness, and charted the outermost limits of human experience. For a man of such stature, sitting down with one of the most significant public figures of the twentieth century was no biggie.

“We had an instant rapport,” Herzog says of his recent rendezvous with Mikhail Gorbachev, in an interview with the Guardian during the Tribeca film festival. His new non-fiction feature Meeting Gorbachev chronicles three tête-à-têtes across the span of six months between the film-maker and the final general secretary of the Communist party of the Soviet Union, in which two personalities known for exuding an intense presence immediately took a shine to one another.

“We have similar backgrounds,” Herzog explains, “growing up after the war and knowing what it means to be hungry, having traveled very extensively, living in a very remote area without even running water, a devastated landscape. We knew of one another. Apparently, Gorbachev had seen some of my films and done a lot of homework on me. He had a huge stack of remarks about my work … We brought him chocolates without sugar from a London chocolatier.”

More here.