Auteur Werner Herzog was in a pleasant & talkative mood before and after the Hollywood Forever Cemetery/Cinespia screening of the Treasure of Sierra Madre. Here’s a few things Herzog name-checked during his presentation & Q/A session plus a few quotes & facts. I had to write down these notes in the dark on the back of a menu from The Gorbals, I’m only sorry I ran out of paper!
- Herzog expressed his love of some other classics: Elia Kazan’s Viva Zapata & Fred Astaire in Swing Time BUT he also said he only sees 3-4 films a year. Perhaps he was only talking about NEW films?
- John Huston is the only director to guide his father (Walter Huston – Treasure of the Sierra Madre) AND his daughter (Angelica Huston Prizzi’s Honor) to Academy Award wins. Herzog expressed his admiration for Huston by saying he was “phenomenally intense with actors” and a “loose gun – boozing, travelling, reading.”
- READING was brought up multiple times by Herzog, he expressed his admiration for the Hemingway short story “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” as well as Virgil’s Georgix. He also thought the Warren Commission report on the JFK assassination was required reading. Here’s his entire required reading list from his Rogue Film School website:
Required reading: Virgil’s “Georgics” and Ernest Hemingway’s “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”. Suggested reading: The Warren Commission Report, Rabelais’ “Gargantua and Pantagruel”, “The Poetic Edda”, translated by Lee M. Hollander (in particular The Prophecy of the Seeress), Bernal Diaz del Castillo “True History of the Conquest of New Spain”.
- Herzog’s longest anecdote was centered around the man who wrote the novel TOTSM was based on, a mysterious writer named B. Traven who managed to write and work for years without ever giving any employer or publisher any biographical information. Some people believe him to be an anarchist named Ret Marut who was involved a very short lived Soviet Republic founded in Bavaria. During this story full of Herzogian mysteries and twists and turns, someone in the crowd shouted out, “ARE YOU FOR REAL?”
And here is the most amazing thing he said during the post-movie wrap-up:
“People think I’m this brooding Teutonic person. I’m more Bavarian. My wife will testify, I am a fluffy husband.”
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