Has to be the weirdest film I’ve ever seen. More bizarre than anything from Lynch, Jodorwsky, etc. I’m interested in hearing other peoples thoughts on this beautifully bizarre film.
I started a thread about this film a few months ago, when I saw it for the first time. I can’t find it now.
I agree with USER. At least the weirdest Herzog, which puts it somewhere in the running for weirdest film ever.
A lot of the imagery from MY SON MY SON looks to have been taken from stuff in HEART OF GLASS.
It’s stranger than “Even Dwarfs Started Small”?
It’s a weird one. Apparently, Herzog once planned to hypnotize audiences before showing the film. If only…
I thought he did actually hypnotize the ACTORS. I could be wrong though.
He did hypnotize all of the performers except for Sepp Bierbichler. That’s why everyone behaves like sleepwalkers. I personally found ‘Dwarfs’ a little more enjoyable, if for no other reason than all the little people had so much energy—a direct contrast to all the zombies in Heart of Glass.
Yeah, Dwarfs is definitely the more enjoyable film, and the better one, in my opinion. Still, Heart of Glass is fascinating. The bit about him hypnotizing the audience can be found in the book, Herzog on Herzog.
This movie was so bizarre. The first and only Herzog film I’ve seen. I still don’t understand this movie or why he hypnotized all the actors, except for Sepp Bierbichler. Strangest film I’ve ever seen. Kind of afraid to watch another Herzog film.
My favorite Herzog film by far. “Ecstatic truth” indeed.
I agree this film is weird, but it has poetry that inspires you, I love all his films but he experiments a lot with the cinematographic language, breaking boundaries and trying to film what others don’t. He tries to find different images and true ecstatic beauty. he is a german poet.
DWARFS is a cakewalk compared to HEART OF GLASS. Really. While the motivations of the little people in DWARFS (break all plates/collect, preserve, and dress bugs in formal wear) are odd compared to HEART (find the crystal recipe, save the village), the actors’ relationships to Motivation as a concept are clearer and way more normal in DWARFS than in HEART. I find myself relating emotionally to the dwarfs much more than the villagers.
Weirdest Herzogs (greatest emotional alienation from characters or subjects):
HEART OF GLASS
WILD BLUE YONDER
I found the village full of hypnotized people to be perhaps the most heartbreakingly vulnerable thing I’ve ever seen on film. I found myself wanting to cry in many uneventful scenes. Also, the “dance” towards the end choked me up as well. I don’t know why, but this film affected my emotions far more than most.
I watched this last night. Truly weird. Maybe I’ll watch it again before I try to fully articulate my thoughts… but I could definitely stand to read some more in-depth observation and interpretation before I do so. So I’m bumping this ol’ thread.
The only thread I could identify connecting the main narrative with the little mythical anecdote at the end is that in the face of great absences, people are destined to embark on a fruitless search for higher meaning. Some of the side-notes I’ve read about the sailors at the end suggested that despite their hope, their journey will ultimately be fruitless; like the town, finally destroyed in the townspeoples’ anarchic revelry, their boat will sink and their search will have to end.
Then again, there are only a few “hopeful” moments, and these occur with characters who are escaping their societies: Hias’s revelries and his successful fight with the invisible bear, and the men leaving the island, followed by the birds. So maybe civilization is man’s doom, as he builds a gilded (ruby) social system, substitutes it for his soul, and then watches it collapse on him.
The revelry in the tavern toward the end of the film was truly unsettling; there’s one scene where an arm reaches from off-screen and places a finger on the head of the servant girl, and she starts turning. As in the end of Stroszek, there’s a sense that the townspeople are all puppets, being controlled by an irrational force, and this manifests as detached dancing and violence. The chickens here seem to be disinterested observers, mocking the townspeople. I’m aware that Herzog was terrified of chickens.
If nothing else, this tells a similar tale to other Herzog works: the story of a human settlement (or arrangement, or microcosm, or whatever) collapsing while nature stands by, beautiful, idle, and indifferent. And if nothing else, the secret of the glass represents an absence that’s fundamental to the human soul. As far as the invisible bear? I don’t know — maybe this is Hias’s absence, a force that he invents, fears, and struggles against, in the same futile pursuit of meaning as his countrymen.
Anyone else? Other ideas? Is this movie worth ruminating over?
i really like the two guys who seem to be bickering with each other at the bar!
Love the Medieval music track at the very end by Studio Der Fruhen Musik. Horner copped it for NAME OF THE ROSE, too.
Anyone have a copy of the accompanying book…a diary of Herbert Achternbush’s observations from the film shoot?