05 November 2011

Giving Thanks, Day 4

Here's something I'm thankful for—people with humor, smarts, integrity, and imagination. I'm especially in awe of the ones who work hard to contribute something worthwhile to the world, and who encourage other people to bravely do the same.

Example: Filmmaker Werner Herzog. Over three decades ago he promised to eat his shoe if a young green colleague, Errol Morris, would finish making his first documentary, Gates of Heaven, and have it screened in a public theater. Morris kept his end of the bargain, so Herzog showed up as a guest speaker for that first Berkeley screening and he ate one of his slow-cooked shoes on stage. Luckily for us, another filmmaker, Les Blank, captured that moment and much of Herzog's philosophy and vision in his 1980 documentary, Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe. If you've got twenty minutes to spare, here's that film for you to watch, followed by a funny two-minute clip from Gates of Heaven (which, by the way, is one of my favorite documentaries of all time—I highly recommend it).

But getting back to funny, intelligent, creative people of conscience, I am blessed to know and love quite a few, and this evening I got to spend time with a bunch of them, and for that I'm really really grateful.  Plus, good pizza.

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