November 9, 2011, 6:15 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office] and Sundance Selects invite current SCA Students, Faculty and Staff to a special conversation with Werner Herzog and a preview screening of

Into the Abyss

Directed by Werner Herzog
Produced by Erik Nelson
Followed by a Q&A with Werner Herzog

6:15 P.M. on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


2011 Telluride Film Festival, 2011 Toronto International Film Festival

Opens in L.A. on Friday, November 11th

About Into the Abyss

In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog (CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, GRIZZLY MAN) probes the human psyche to explore why people kill—and why a state kills. In intimate conversations with those involved, including 28-year-old death row inmate Michael Perry (scheduled to die within eight days of appearing on-screen), Herzog achieves what he describes as “a gaze into the abyss of the human soul.” Herzog’s inquiries also extend to the families of the victims and perpetrators as well as a state executioner and pastor who’ve been with death row prisoners as they’ve taken their final breaths. As he’s so often done before, Herzog’s investigation unveils layers of humanity, making an enlightening trip out of ominous territory.   

Provided courtesy of Sundance Selects. Not rated. Running time: 106 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


Director's Statement

I am not an advocate of the death penalty. I do not even have an argument; I only have a story, the history of the barbarism of Nazi Germany.

There were thousands and thousands of cases of capital punishment; there was a systematic program of euthanasia, and on top of it the industrialized extermination of six million Jews in a genocide that has no precedence in human history.

The argument that innocent men and women have been executed is, in my opinion, only a secondary one. A State should not be allowed - under any circumstance - to execute anyone for any reason. End of story.

-- Werner Herzog

About the Guest


Werner Herzog (real name Werner H. Stipetic) was born in Munich and grew up removed from technology in a remote Bavarian village. He worked as a welder to fund production of his first film at age nineteen and has since directed more than fifty features. He has also published more than a dozen books or prose and directed as many operas. His films have won numerous awards, including the special grand jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival for THE ENIGMA OF KASPAR HAUSER (74) and best director at the Cannes Film Festival for FITZCARRALDO (82). His other films include: AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (72), NOSFERATU (78), LITTLE DIETER NEEDS TO FLY (97), GRIZZLY MAN (05), RESCUE DAWN (06), BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS (09) and CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS (10).

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain. The weekly screenings will be on Wednesday and Sunday nights (and other select dates, as they arise) in the School of Cinematic Arts Complex, George Lucas Building.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and OPEN EXCLUSIVELY to all USC Students, Faculty and Staff. Please bring a valid USC ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 6:00 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago