January 25, 2021/ Ian Michna & Rob Fraebel/ VIDEOS/ Comments: 34

Werner Herzog is a pillar of cinema—a pioneer known for his prolific output, quick wit, and uncommon approach to film. He’s a guy who brings a true sense of uniqueness to an industry increasingly overrun with superheroes. But what does he have to do with skateboarding?

Technically speaking, nothing. Werner has no background in skating. But I believe he is one of us.

This suspicion started a couple of years ago when I stumbled upon Werner Herzog – A Guide for the Perplexed. Not knowing much about him I skimmed the back cover, which eerily read like a skater’s manifesto. Werner preaches maxims like getting the shot by any means necessary, carrying bolt cutters everywhere, and thwarting institutional cowardice with guerrilla tactics. His film school teaches lock picking, forgery, and his entire career has been built on a DIY approach to life, his craft banged into existence through decades of trial and failure.

Because Werner’s approach to life and filmmaking mirrors the ethos of skating in so many ways, I decided to track him down to chat about the similarities and differences between our two worlds.

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  1. A. Chin

    January 27, 2021 4:51 am

    Agree with other commenters: this is one of the best things you’ve ever done. Really uplifting and funny. Now to download some Russian Orthodox church music!

  2. Winston Grant

    January 27, 2021 3:07 pm

    Holy SHIT
    …….. 😳

  3. Alex

    January 27, 2021 6:36 pm

    Werner Herzog made this film about ski jumping in 1974: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_SxmZWuwdk (english subtitles available). It predates The Art Of Flight by 37 years, yet there are obvious similarities in narrative, cinematography, and background music. I guess he should not be an “honorary” action sports filmer, he literally is one and paved the path for contemporary films.

    • Jenkem Staff

      January 27, 2021 6:45 pm

      We didn’t call him an honorary action sports filmer. We called him an honorary Skateboarder.

      • Alex

        January 27, 2021 6:55 pm

        Sorry for the mix-up, you’re right. But more than an actual skateboarder he seems to be the prototype of the “extreme” filmer. Needless to say that word is shit. But he laid the foundation for modern mainstream-friendly films, where protagonists are expressing doubts, falls are shown, where there is a juxtaposition of ecstasy and failure.

        Ok, I’m gonna say it, WH should make a film about skateboarding. He managed to pull off a film about the internet, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lo_and_Behold,_Reveries_of_the_Connected_World, which everyone expected to suck.

  4. Tony Cox’s Sweater

    January 28, 2021 10:11 pm

    Can someone be both shocked and not surprised at the same time? Jenkem delivers.