There may be better directors than German New Wave auteur Werner Herzog, but if viewed entirely in terms of how interesting they are personally, Herzog stands above all. His tales of working with deranged German actor Klaus Kinski are the stuff of legend: from filming deep in the jungle using real natives to pushing a ship over a waterfall for Fitzcarraldo to apparently earnestly plotting to kill his star. Or, more recently he saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car crash and then disappeared before he could be thanked. His personality even transfers over remarkably in this short film directed by Les Blank.
We learn that Herzog apparently was friends with Errol Morris. While Morris was still a struggling young filmmaker, Herzog had made a bet with him that if he ever got his film made, the former would eat his shoe. Well, in 1979 he finally does make a film, Gates of Heaven, and Herzog comes to live up to his promise. The film chronicles Herzog as he garnishes, cooks, and eats one of the shoes with some salt and garlic on stage during the film's premiere. This all happens and Herzog still has time to say things like how we must declare holy war on what we see every day on television, talk shows and Bonanza; and how it requires some self-degradation in order to be a director, all in 17 minutes.
So for a short film it works quite well at capturing his essence. It's also up on YouTube to watch for free and in its entirety. This is a good thing, as it is not even available on Netflix. So if you have 20 minutes to spare, it's well worth watching.