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aka - Herz Aus Glas
Germany 1976
Directed by
Werner Herzog
93 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
3 stars

Heart Of Glass

One of Herzog’s period films, Heart Of Glass is set in the director’s native region of Bavaria during the 18th century and tells the story of what happens when a master glassblower dies and takes with him to the grave the secret of ruby glass, the factory’s and the town’s raison d’être. The factory’s owner goes mad, Hias. the town’s oracle predicts doom and the townspeople set upon each other as their livelihood disappears.

An eccentric production, with Herzog allegedly shooting the film with the cast hypnotized, Herzog adopts a highly mannered approach, much as he did with Even Dwarfs Started Small (1970), endowing his story with its own nightmarish logic. Whilst this means that narratively speaking the film is often painfully inert, it is equally often visually seductive with marvellous photography by Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein who also did Herzog’s Woyzeck and Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (both 1979),

DVD Extras: Available singly or as part of Umbrella Entertainment’s excellent 6 disc collection of early Herzog films that include Signs Of Life, Even Dwarves Started Small, The Enigma Of Kaspar Hauser, Stroszek and Where the Green Ants Dream. All the films have informative commentaries by Herzog with Norman Hill and Crispin Glover and the set includes an illustrated booklet about the films including a Herzog biography.

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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