During the ‘70s, a generation of “film school brats” like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, and Brian De Palma transformed American cinema, but times have changed and attitudes about film schools have changed along with them. But now, in the digital age, there’s a counterargument that real filmmaking isn’t sanctioned by these conformist factories of academic privilege, but something that anyone with a camera and a vision can learn on their own. Or, better still, with a little guidance from the mad German visionary responsible for Aguirre: The Wrath Of God, Fitzcarraldo, Even Dwarves Started Small, and the batshit new “remake” of Bad Lieutenant.
Welcome to Werner Herzog’s Rogue Film School, a wacky new venture that offers filmmaking novices the opportunity to learn from a master via weekend seminars at an undisclosed time and location. Here’s the mission statement:
The Rogue Film School is not for the faint-hearted. It is for those who have traveled on foot, who have worked as bouncers in sex clubs or as wardens in a lunatic asylum, for those who are willing to learn about lock-picking or forging shooting permits in countries not favouring their projects. In short: it is for those who have a sense for poetry. For those who are pilgrims. For those who can tell a story to four-year-old children and hold their attention. For those who have a fire burning within. For those who have a dream.
The fee for Herzog’s seminars (which start on a Friday night and extend all day Saturday and Sunday) is $1450, and the application details can be found here. The website itself is a treasure-trove of bizarre rules and philosophical nuggets. Our favorite: “Censorship will be enforced. There will be no talk of shamans, of yoga classes, nutritional values, herbal teas, discovering your Boundaries, and Inner Growth.”