The Saturday-night screening of “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was attended by special guest Werner Herzog, to the delight of a few hundred wine-drunk hipsters on picnic blankets. (Toto was there too, in spirit!)

Herzog's intro — half Wikipedia entry in a funny accent, half ejaculation onto “Sierra Madre” director John Huston's grave — wasn't much to speak of…

… But the same cannot be said for his outgoing Q&A sesh, during which a handful of the most unabashed hipsters in Hollywood emerged from the crowd and challenged the director's tolerance for shitty film analysis. And, against all odds, Herzog passed the test. As if he wasn't cool enough already.

Though we sadly have no video evidence, we'll recall the incident as best we can:

Young man walks onto the stage, quivering in the presence of his idol. Perhaps in fear, perhaps in earnestness, perhaps after one too many paper cups, he asks Herzog:

“I'm wondering if you believe in synchronicity, and if you think that that principle is expressed in film.”

Now, Herzog is somewhat of a vocab king (albeit second-language), but he quickly admits to the audience that he has never before heard the term “synchronicity.” Flustered, the questioner tries to elaborate:

“OK, so synchronicity is this concept. Carl Jung, right? I mean, come on. When two coincidences — when two events happen that are seemingly a-causal, but they're meaningful to the observer in a way that makes them feel like the universe is speaking to them, if you will.”

Blank stare from Herzog. At this point, the hipsters still on their picnic blankets have begun to “boo” their confused cohort on stage, because there is nothing hipsters love more than to jeer another hipster, thus distancing themselves from the stereotype. So dude gets crazy defensive:

“I'm sorry, I don't mean to be stupid, I'm trying to explain it.”

Herzog at the screening. For more photos, click here.

Herzog at the screening. For more photos, click here.

More cackles from the crowd. Just when we're about to faint from all this awkwardness, Herzog brings out the love guns:

“Whether I can follow or not doesn't really matter, and whether you agree or not doesn't matter. There's apparently something that sinks in very deep, into you. And no matter what sort of name you have for it doesn't really matter. I really appreciate that you love this film, and something really — it's as if an entire universe opens up to you, is that correct?”

“That's right.”

“Fine then. We have done our job right, and John Huston has done his job well.”

And all is again right in the world.

Other notable moments in the Q&A included a chick who asked the director why his films always contain “a certain theme of adversity and darkness” (to which he awesomely responded “I love Eddie Murphy” and “I am a fluffy husband”), one who actually asked him to give her a hug (icy German back-pat ensued) and one who took it upon herself to recommend a film Herzog had never seen (probably her own). Also, those damn fireworks:

Sorry, Werner. But thanks for being so cool about it.


LA Weekly