HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Assassins
Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, The
Synchronic
Capote Tapes, The
Night, The
Show Goes On, The
Furnace, The
Tyrel
Iceman
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
   
 
  Heart of Glass The Glass Key
Year: 1976
Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheiitz, Sonja Skiba, various
Genre: Weirdo, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Hias the herdsman sits looking after his cows on a Bavarian mountain. Hias (Josef Bierbichler) has the power to foresee events, and as he contemplates the misty landscape below he has a premonition of an apocalypse where the planet Earth falls and a new world rises. The people of the local village know very well about his abilities and today some of them come to see him about one of their number witnessing a giant in the area, but he reassures them it was simply the shadow cast by a dwarf. However, he won't be alleviating their fears for much longer - their lives are about to change...

Hypnotic is a good word to describe director Werner Herzog's Heart of Glass, or Herz aus Glas as it was originally called, and not just because of the effect it has on the viewer. To create the atmosphere he wanted he actually hypnotised most of his cast save for Bierbichler and the glass blowers featured (presumably mesmerising them would have been too dangerous), meaning the film has a strange, dreamilke mood as the cast shuffle around looking blank and intoning their lines.

And it has to be said, it also has a ridiculous look, as you keep expecting one of the cast of amateur volunteers to at the very least bump into the furniture as if they were a wind-up toy. Scripted with Herbert Achternbusch, a writer-director-producer-actor in his own right, Herzog again demonstrates his willful awkwardness, most pointedly in the obfuscation of the plot which grows so caught up in its visions that the end seems to have been dropped in from another film entirely.

Before we get that far, there's the matter of the villagers' worries over their local industry, the glass blowing. In this (perhaps) eighteenth century time the manufacture of their special ruby glass has kept them comfortable but the foreman has now died and taken the secret of the glass with him to the grave. So they begin to panic, in an extemely slow kind of way, that their livelihood is now denied them. This despite the fact we can see they still know how to do the basic glass blowing, so it's not as if they couldn't carry on with the more traditional product.

But there's an ominous air to Heart of Glass. Some have described it as a black comedy, but Herzog originally meant to have the viewers hypnotised as well as his performers, and although there are funny scenes gradually you go into a trance while watching it if you're concentrating at all so I don't know how much laughing you can do in that state. Hias' premonitions dominate eventually and his prediction of the village falling apart comes true after a fashion, but what we're supposed to make of it all is a mystery. It could be a warning against forthcoming World Wars, or even the threat of a nuclear armageddon judging by the Nostradamus-like dialogue from Hias, but the film is better as an enigma, even if there's the suspicion that there's a joke being played somewhere here. Music by Popol Vuh, as well as some yodelling and chanting.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3708 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Werner Herzog  (1942 - )

Eccentric German writer/director known equally for his brilliant visionary style and tortuous filming techniques. After several years struggling financially to launch himself as a filmmaker, Herzog began his career with the wartime drama Lebenszeichen and surreal comedy Even Dwarfs Started Small. But it was the stunning 1972 jungle adventure Aguirre, Wrath of God that brought him international acclaim and began his tempestuous working relationship with Klaus Kinski. The 1975 period fable Heart of Glass featured an almost entirely hypnotised cast, while other Herzog classics from this era include Stroszek, the gothic horror Nosferatu the Vampyre and the spectacular, notoriously expensive epic Fitzcarraldo.

Herzog's subsequent work is perhaps less well known but he has continued to direct both provocative feature films (Cobra Verde, Invincible, Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans) and intriguing documentaries, most notably My Best Fiend, detailing his love/hate relationship with the late Kinski and 2005's highly acclaimed Grizzly Man. Herzog has also been the subject of two Les Blank documentaries: Burden of Dreams (about the making of Fitzcarraldo) and the hilarious Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (in which he does just that).

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: