If Werner Herzog Reviewed Trader Joe’s on Yelp: “Madness Reigns. The First Challenge Your Soul Must Endure Is the Parking Lot”

I like the Inter­net for var­i­ous things, but it’s lim­it­ed. I’m not on social media, but you will find me in the social media. There’s Face­book, there’s Twit­ters, but it’s all not me.

—Wern­er Her­zog in an inter­view with The Hol­ly­wood Reporter

The night before his 2016 doc­u­men­tary Lo and Behold: Rever­ies of the Con­nect­ed World pre­miered at Sun­dance, direc­tor Wern­er Her­zog declared him­self “still a lib­er­at­ed vir­gin” with regard to his reliance on the Inter­net:

I think we have to aban­don this kind of false secu­ri­ty that every­thing is set­tled now, that we have so much assis­tance by dig­i­tal media and robots and arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. At the same time, we over­look how vul­ner­a­ble all this is, and how we are los­ing the essen­tials that make us human. That’s my advice … Cook a meal at least three times a week. Play a musi­cal instru­ment. Read books and trav­el on foot.

That said, he’s not immune to the reju­ve­nat­ing effects of ran­dom cat videos at the end of a tir­ing day, as he told Stu­dio 360’s Kurt Ander­sen dur­ing a pro­mo­tion­al vis­it for 2018’s Meet­ing Gor­bachev:

Per­haps guess­ing that Googling his own name is not one of Herzog’s pre­ferred online activ­i­ties, Ander­son took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to hip his guest to come­di­an Paul F. Tomp­kins’ Teu­ton­ic-inflect­ed recita­tion of a noto­ri­ous Yelp review of Trad­er Joe’s in Sil­ver Lake.

To the untrained ear, Tomp­kins’ Her­zog is pitch per­fect.

The spoof’s sub­ject sug­gest­ed that the accent could use improve­ment, but agreed that the text is “very fun­ny.”

And it is, espe­cial­ly giv­en the pedes­tri­an tenor of the same Trad­er Joe’s oth­er 5‑star reviews:

This is the best Trad­er Joe’s loca­tion I’ve been to! Been com­ing here since I was a kid! (I’m 25 now) I’ve moved out of this area but still come to this loca­tion just because it beats the rest of them. — Deb­bie G

TJ is the best!! I’ve been com­ing here for many years, and the food is great!! The employ­ee’s are awe­some! Some of the many things I love to pur­chase here are: salmon balls, smooth­ies like the chia seed straw­ber­ry, pro­tein almond but­ter drinks, coconut smooth­ie, cashew yogurt, south west­ern sal­ad that comes in a bag is BOMB.COM! — Ray­mond M

Tomp­kins tapped Herzog’s fas­ci­na­tion with man’s ani­mal nature and the bru­tal­i­ty of exis­tence for anoth­er Yelp review, award­ing three stars to San Francisco’s Hotel Majes­tic and attribut­ing it to Wern­er H:

Tomp­kins clear­ly savors the oppor­tu­ni­ty to chan­nel Her­zog, log­ging 16 appear­ances for the char­ac­ter on the Com­e­dy Bang Bang pod­cast, includ­ing episodes where­in he dis­cuss­es work­ing with Tom Cruise and his desire to be cast as a clue­less sub­ur­ban hus­band in an appli­ance com­mer­cial. Find them all list­ed here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The Dream-Dri­ven Film­mak­ing of Wern­er Her­zog: Watch the Video Essay, “The Inner Chron­i­cle of What We Are: Under­stand­ing Wern­er Her­zog”

Wern­er Her­zog Cre­ates Required Read­ing & Movie View­ing Lists for Enrolling in His Film School

Wern­er Her­zog Offers 24 Pieces of Film­mak­ing and Life Advice

Ayun Hal­l­i­day is an author, illus­tra­tor, the­ater mak­er and Chief Pri­ma­tol­o­gist of the East Vil­lage Inky zine.  Fol­low her @AyunHalliday.

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • hinky ballew says:

    Was­n’t this take released awhile ago? And, short­ly after dis­cred­it­ed. Don’t get me wrong. I love the man, but not enough to scribe a cri­tique of TJS and attribute it to him. I would write one and claim it.

  • Billy Andrews says:

    The park­ing lot at the Westch­ester TJs is huge since there’s a Kohls anchor­ing the strip mall. The loca­tions at National/Westwood or first San­ta Mon­i­ca on Pico have the park­ing lots that cre­ate exis­ten­tial dread in you.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.