German film director Werner Herzog was born on September 5, 1942. Herzog is considered a figure of the New German Cinema. His films often feature ambitious protagonists with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature.
Herzog made his first film in 1961 at the age of 19. Since then he has produced, written, and directed more than sixty feature films and documentaries, such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Heart of Glass (1976), Nosferatu the Vampyre (1978), Fitzcarraldo (1982), Lessons of Darkness (1992), Little Dieter Needs to Fly (1997), My Best Fiend (1999), Invincible (2000), Grizzly Man (2005), Encounters at the End of the World (2007), Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009), and Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010). He has published more than a dozen books of prose, and directed as many operas.
French film director François Truffaut once famously called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American critic Roger Ebert said, "Herzog has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons, or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2009.