You know who I'm talking about. I first saw Werner Herzog in high school German class, and was hooked since. I like Aguirre and Fitzcaraldo etc, but really got hooked when I saw My Best Fiend.
Werner's documentaries have a humor, philosophy and reality that is completely original and weighty. Check Mark Antony out in The White Diamond, a film 'about' the test flight of an experimental dirigible, but really about everything... The end cracks me up.
Henry Kaiser's under-ice photography in Encounters at the End of the World deserve their own post. Amazing starting at about the 7 min mark.
Werner threads his commentary on life and, often, our place in the universe throughout. It's like that's his main instrument, and getting these films together is just a means to end - his excuse to riff on his subjects.
I could go on and on, but I'm sure you people are already hip. Just one more thing: if you get the chance to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams in a real theater in 3D, do it.