WERNER HERZOG GETS A HAIRCUT
HOLLYWOOD – Resident Bavarian film director Werner Herzog shares his thoughts and ideas in his own inimitable accent.
Every month, the first Wednesday of every month, I go to the Italian hairdresser on Melrose Giovanni’s and I have my hair cut. I never tell him how I would like it. When he asks ‘How would you like it Werner?’ I simply close my eyes and say ‘Imagine the heat death of the Universe’ and then I don’t open my eyes until he has finished. He moves my head gently this way and that, and does that thing with the comb, where he combs for a bit and then holds the hair twixt his fingers and then he snips and snips and snips. Sometimes – although I am morally opposed to it – he uses an electric razor to do the fluffy bits at the back.
When it is over, and only when it is over, he will say ‘Done’, at which point I open my eyes and gaze into my own eyes gazing back at my eyes gazing into my own eyes. And although I am happy – I enjoy the physical sensation of having my hair cut enormously – I cannot help to detect unhappiness in my eyes. From where does such deep inconsolable melancholy come, from what abyss in my soul.
Then Giovanni appears at my back with yet another mirror – a metaphor? – and asks me ‘if that’s okay?’ And of course it isn’t. Giovanni is by far the worst hairdresser I have ever met and he has once more screwed up both my fringe, my side burns and the back. But nevertheless he is a good man with an honest soul and so I smile and say ‘Perfect. Thank you Giovanni.’