Ted Greenberg's The Complete Performer

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Werner Herzog in New York City And in Flat Out Funny Documentary

Categories: Latest News
Posted: May 17, 2012
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There are many great things about New York City and its vibrant arts scene. This afternoon, New Yorkers have a chance to hear heralded filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man; Aguirre, the Wrath of God; Fitzcarraldo) wax poetic about his piece in this year’s Whitney Biennial. And, there’s nothing funnier or more endearing than hearing the German auteur speak.
 
An avid documentary fan, I will watch just about anything. I will profile some of my other favorite docs in future posts. Right now, I want to focus on Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, the 1980 short film by Les Blank, whose other films have focused on garlic, gap-toothed women and Dizzy Gillespie. For this weird gem, Blank trails Herzog as he prepares to eat his shoe.
 
Now, why exactly would Herzog cook his shoe? A bet, it turns out. Herzog bet aspiring filmmaker Errol Morris that if Morris ever made a film, Herzog would eat his shoe. Upon the release of Gates of Heaven, Morris’s brilliant documentary about pet cemeteries, Herzog kept his word.
 
Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
 
With the help of famed chef Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, Herzog tenderizes the shoe, cooking it with duck fat and red hot sauce. Just the act of seriously cooking a shoe is hilarious. Add in Herzog’s deadpan running commentary, and Blank hit comic gold. Here’s a short sample of Herzog’s bon mots: “I’m quite convinced that cooking is the only alternative to filmmaking. Maybe there’s another alternative; that’s walking on foot.” You may watch the 20-minute film in its entirety on YouTube.
 
For tickets and information to see Werner Herzog at the Whitney, which starts at noon, visit the museum’s web site.



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My Golden Globes Predictions

Categories: Latest News
Posted: January 13, 2012
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The Golden Globes ceremony has a lot in common with my weekly Off-Broadway show — Ted Greenberg’s The Complete Performer. The audience sits around tables, everyone gets a little tipsy and you never know what’s going to happen next. As an Emmy Award winner, I salute the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for one of my favorite Sunday nights of the year.
 
Golden Globe Awards
 

On January 15th, I will be glued to the television, watching the 2012 Golden Globes, for five reasons:

 
Golden Globes nominees and host
 

#1) Ricky Gervais.
No one expected him to be invited back to host the event after his scathing comments last year. Who and what will he make fun of this year? My money is on two-time nominee Ryan Gosling.
 
#2) The Ladies of the Best Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy. Normally, Golden Globe winners Kate Winslet and Jodie Foster are better known for their dramatic work, but are nominated this year in Roman Polanski‘s dark comedy Carnage, an adaptation of the hit Broadway play. Michelle Williams is transcendent in anything she’s done post-Dawson’s Creek. Charlize Theron was heartbreakingly funny (alongside the fantastic Patton Oswalt) in Young Adult. And, Kristen Wiig may be my favorite in this category; her performance (and writing of) Bridesmaids was so hilarious I’ve started listening to Wilson Phillips again.
 
#3) Alec Baldwin. He is a comedy master. My girlfriend likens his performance as Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock to Rip Torn’s fantastic turn as Arthur in The Larry Sanders Show. She’s right. Watch and learn.
 
#4) Enlightened. I have meant to watch this show. Now, that it’s got a Golden Globe nomination for Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical — and a renewal for a second season, I must watch it.
 
#5) Rooney Mara. She helped my team, the New York Giants, win against the Atlanta Falcons last weekend. So, I’m rooting for her at the Golden Globes. And the Giants to beat the Green Bay Packers earlier in the day!



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