Heart of Glass
Heart of Glass - A small village is renowned for its "Ruby Glass" glass blowing works. When the owner of the works dies suddenly without revealing the secret of the Ruby Glass, his son tries to recreate it. In order to create the proper atmosphere of trance and sleepwalking, the entire case acted under hypnosis.
In his tireless crusade to expand the vocabulary of cinema, Werner Herzog turned Heart of Glass into a bold and challenging experiment. By placing all but one of his actors under hypnosis, Herzog achieved his desired effect, eliciting performances that seem oddly detached and trancelike, perfectly appropriate to a story about 19th-century Bavarian villagers who have lost their collective vision, cast adrift and descending into madness. They've lost the life-sustaining secret to the magical ruby-red glass that was once made in the local glassworks, and their predicament cannot be solved by the mystic (Josef Bierbichler, the only actor not hypnotized) who appears with premonitions of the fate of all humankind. All of this is mere pretense for Herzog's loftier (and not altogether successful) ambition: to present haunting, mysterious images that seem directly drawn from our collective subconscious. In his visionary defiance of conventional narrative, Herzog crafted a timeless, mesmerizing allegory, and one of the most eerily beautiful films ever made. --Jeff Shannon
- Aspect Ratio : 1.66:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : Unrated (Not Rated)
- Package Dimensions : 7.1 x 5.42 x 0.58 inches; 1.6 Ounces
- Director : Werner Herzog
- Media Format : Anamorphic, Color, DVD, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
- Run time : 1 hour and 34 minutes
- Release date : January 8, 2002
- Actors : Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz, Sonja Skiba, Wolf Albrecht
- Subtitles: : English
- Language : German (Dolby Digital 2.0), Unqualified
- Studio : Starz / Anchor Bay
- ASIN : B00005R247
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #218,934 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
- Customer Reviews:
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This one is from Herzog's early phase. Its plot concerns a small town in Bavaria whose economy is based on a unique method of glass-blowing. When the last one to possess this secret dies, the economy collapses and the town descends into madness. It's not a documentary.
The movie is famous for the following unusual directing technique: nearly all of the principal actors were hypnotized before delivering their lines in nearly all of the scenes.
This is one of those ideas that must have worked better on paper than it did once it was in the can. I'm sure, while filming, Herzog was quite taken with himself and how art critics would swoon over this approach, but for me, what matters is the final result, not so much the story behind the final result.
Hence what we really have is a bunch of actors delivering their lines in dopey monotones. The whole thing would have been a lot better, I imagine, if Herzog had merely told those actors to act like they were hypnotized: this would have created the same eerie effect, but been more watchable.