In the 1970s Werner Herzog made a bizarre bet with a young filmmaker under his tutelage named Errol Morris. Morris was making his first film, Gates of Heaven, and Herzog suggested that if Morris ever completed the film he would eat his own shoe. Famously, Morris did indeed complete the film and Herzog, a man of his word, agreed to tuck into a meal of leather and lace. The shoe was even cooked for five hours in garlic and wine and the whole event was filmed by the documentary maker Les Blank, who sadly passed away a couple of years ago. You can watch the resulting work here.
Blank and Herzog were friends for many years, and in the early 1980s the former made the acclaimed film Burden Of Dreams, detailing Herzog’s increasingly chaotic attempts to make Fitzcarraldo, in which the German filmmaker organises the transportation of a 320-ton steamship over a hill and the actor Klaus Kinski argues with just about everyone on set. Here’s a short film of Herzog talking about Blank:
And here’s Blank’s earlier documentary The Blues According To Lightnin’ Hopkins:
And, to round off this post, here’s Werner Herzog getting shot while being interviewed by Mark Kermode for the BBC: