German director Werner Herzog, celebrated art-house auteur and inventive documentarian, can add action-adventure hero to his list of credits. The director of “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?” recently recounted the true story of saving Joaquin Phoenix’s life in 2006, when the actor’s car flipped over on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Sascha Ciezata, an animator who recognized the cinematic potential of this mythic tale, illustrated the story and narrated it using Werner’s original audio track. The result is a beautiful and offbeat web short befitting both subjects.
The mercurial — or calculating – Phoenix, who “retired” from acting in 2008 to focus on his hip-hop career (a bizarre journey captured in Casey Affleck’s mockumentary “I’m Still Here”), told The Guardian back in 2006 that “There’s something so calming and beautiful about Werner Herzog’s voice. I felt completely fine and safe. I climbed out. I got out of the car and I said, ‘Thank you,’ and he was gone.”