With Glass, Haanstra became in 1959 the first Oscar winner of The Netherlands. This short ‘free’ film, shot in the glass factories of Leerdam and Schiedam, demonstrates how glass blowers do their work. But thanks to the superbly edited ballet of working hands and the sequence of mechanical motions of the engines, is it especially a cinematic tour de force. That the industry can’t do without man’s involvement is shown in the scene where we hear the voice of Haanstra himself counting the bottles on the conveyor belt, until one bottle breaks… Eddy van der Enden was operating the camera, the images are underscored by the music of jazzman Pim Jacobs. More than a thousand film copies of Glass went all over the world and for decades the film remained compulsory learning material at film academies in many countries. —docalliancefilms.com
Bert Haanstra (31 May 1916 – 23 October 1997) was a Dutch film and documentary director. Haanstra was born in the town of Holten and became a professional filmmaker in 1947. He won international acclaim with his short documentary Spiegel van Holland / Mirror of Holland, for which he received the Grand Prix du court métrage at the Cannes-festival of 1951. During the fifties he made six films for Shell, among others The Rival World (1955) on insects spreading deadly diseases and how to fight them. In 1958 his documentary Glass, a filming improvisation made in a glass factory, won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. He directed several fiction films. Fanfare, a comedy situated in a small Dutch village, is still the Netherlands’ second most popular film ever (measured at the box office), only surpassed by Paul Verhoevens Turkish Delight. Abroad however, Fanfare was hardly noticed. In several shorts and in long documentaries like Alleman / The Human Dutch and Stem van het… read more
jazzmen in glassmaking. what an apt choice of music, synchronizing the gestures of glass magicians with those of the scoring musicians.