If you don't know Werner Herzog, you should really read up on him.
Besides being one of our best living filmmakers, he's a hell of a human being who is always doing random super hero stuff like continuing an interview after being shot ("It is not a significant bullet"), or pulling Joaquin Phoenix out of a burning car on Mulholland Drive.
Herzog's the type of legend whose work you want to be able to discuss. And if you want to be in the inner Hollywood circle, you should be able to recognize his voice while he's saving your life.
Like Scorcese and Tarantino, he has primarily worked with a female editor.
In this terrific article and video, he gives advice to aspiring filmmakers on the foundation of filmmaking. Read, and go make your micro budget film NOW.
Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." - Roger Ebert
Herzog has an amazing 40-year career and is truly revered, so picking which movie of his to start with is bound to create a fist fight among cinephiles. Personally I'd start with Grizzly Man, My Best Friend and Nosferatu The Vampyre as the most accessible and enjoyable for our class. But here is another suggestion, and the AV Club's Herzog primer.
And here's a great list of 11 books Darren Aronofsky and Herzog suggest you read, including our textbook by Christopher Vogler. Told you it was a seminal Hollywood read!