Werner Herzog Finds Chickens’ Stupidity “Overwhelming”

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 7 2012 12:22 PM

Did You See This? Werner Herzog Disses Chickens

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Director Werner Herzog.

Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for DIFF

The voice of German director Werner Herzog—heavily accented, absurdly deep, simultaneously affectless and warm—can lend an authoritative air to just about any topic. And though Herzog’s intonation and cadence have been widely parodied, no one does Herzog on (insert unexpected subject matter) better than Herzog himself. For evidence of this, watch filmmakers Siri Bunford and Tom Streithorst’s brilliant 40-second video, “Werner Herzog on Chickens”:

“Try to look a chicken in the eye with great intensity, and the intensity of stupidity that is looking back at you is just amazing,” he marvels while gesturing as a professor might while making a salient point during a lecture. And that’s before he gets to his thoughts on hypnotizing chickens: “They are very prone to hypnosis, and in one or two films I’ve actually shown that,” Herzog adds proudly.

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L.V. Anderson is a Slate assistant editor. She edits Slate's food and drink sections and writes Brow Beat's recipe column, You're Doing It Wrong. 

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