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Heart of Glass (1976) (DVD)

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1 Review
  • Fascinating in its methodology
  • Moody and abstract
  • Very subtle and cryptic
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      27.05.2014 02:03
      Very helpful
      (Rating)

      Advantages

      • "Fascinating in its methodology"
      • "Moody and abstract"

      Disadvantages

      • "Very subtle and cryptic"

      Doth my heart bleed red or destin'd to shatter by the rocks?

      In an 18th century Bavarian town, the famed old master glass blower dies, taking the secret of how to make his famous red "ruby glass" to his grave with him. The factory's owner (Stefan Guttler), obsessed with the glass he believes to have magical properties, soon begins to loose his mind in his pursuit of discovering the secret, while at the same time the townspeople descend into deep depression upon losing the town's economical crutch, becoming despondent and lacking a purpose to exist amid prophesies of the village's impending destruction looming in the near future, told of by the prophet Hias (Josef Bierbichler). Werner Herzog's mysteriously transcendent 1976 film "Herz aus Glas" ("Heart of Glass") is one of those films that will likely either hit you as a deeply spiritual experience by virtue of its dream-like moodiness, or then feel like a pretentiously aloof and unsatisfyingly confounding German fable. The film is famous for employing hypnotism to make the entire cast - with the exception of Bierbichler - seem like they are traversing in an ethereally dreamlike daze of somnambulism, yielding to violence, vulgarity, and a general sense of Weltschmerz, that make this cryptic film both admirable and perhaps overly difficult to fully decipher in equal measure. There is certainly typical Herzog artistry involved, but it is a movie that may also come across as somewhat of an overly baffling experience, more driven forward by its mood than any attempt at a cut-and-slice story to sink your teeth into. It's probably one of those personal films that you'll either adore or just shake your head at, though one must admit it is still quite a fascinating experiment beyond its simple function as a traditional narrative film. Written by Herzog with Herbert Achternbusch and featuring fabulous cinematography by Jorg Schmidt-Reitwein. (c) berlioz 2014

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