3.5 Pas mécontente d'avoir enfin découvert l'univers d'Herzog, pas mécontente que le film soit fini non plus! Je regrette cependant de ne pas avoir eu le courage de m'attaquer aux autres Herzog précédemment programmés : c'est qu'elle est prenante au final cette étrangeté!
Probably the strangest of Herzog's films that I have seen. The actors were apparently hypnotised throughout, and the film gives you the sense that you are being hypnotised as well! It is somewhat cryptic, but appears to pit the spirituality of the medieval/early modern period (as represented by the character of Hias) against the encroaching modernism of the industrial age (presaged by Hias' apocalyptic visions).
Somehow the poetic ending ties the knot with the rest of the movie, which had some muddled intentions. Add that to gorgeous nature imagery, incredibly warm factory and townsfolk scenes, some inspiring non-sequiturs, and you've got yourself a good German period movie.
Silly Wudy. You can't have your Ascherl and eat it too. ;-) The story is strange enough without adding Herzog to the mix. Hypnotizing almost the entire cast may subtract more from the film that it adds to it. The whole exercise seems too self-conscious (ironically?) with all the ponderous shots in the overture and with the philosophical addendum at the end, though. Three stars instead of two because Wudy & Ascherl.
Some of the most hauntingly beautiful camera work I have ever seen particularly in the beginning and the film's series of final shots. There are village scenes that remind me of the paintings of Bruegel. Herzog is consistently the most interesting director out there with works that challenge what film is and point the way for what it could be. Here's an in-depth piece on this film: http://tinyurl.com/jtryfxx.
(1.5 stars) It's like watching a very old man fall very slowly down a flight of stairs. It's terrible and you know the end will be awful, but you just have to keep watching as he slowly tumbles further down. There are some glorious nature shots that are set to music that are breathtaking. They have nothing to do with the story, but... it's nice to have something positive to watch in this tedious and tiresome movie.
Herzog exerts stunning and painstaking control over every aspect of the film except for his actors' performances; here, he largely concedes control, allowing their movement and delivery to be governed by natural impulse, and "the untidiness of the stars." Beyond gimmickry, affectation, naturalism or expressionism, this approach draws fearless and compelling performances from a largely nonprofessional cast.
I'm not sure Herzog is a good storyteller—a brilliant filmmaker, certainly, good at developing concepts and finding/conjuring sights and sounds that are cosmic and provocative. But a film like Heart of Glass, rich in ideas as it is, suffers a bit from an absence of narrative clarity and momentum. Even if, as conjuring acts go, the hypnosis provides an inspired, beautiful metaphor for a stumbling civilization.
Being my first Herzog film, I did not know what to expect. Throughout the film, there were many confusing scenes and many eccentric characters that, not only made the film more dramatic, but really showed the experimental factors that Herzog seemed to find amusement in. This film really pushes the boundaries of independent films and creates an overwhelming, yet entertaining, depiction of a fictional community.
What an amazing film. Its true test is its viewing, and its memory... the red glass in hand, the vistas, and the relationship between all to the world around as if we are watching not only men but also space and time itself... I always collected films by the rule, "Could I watch this one twice?"... but I have also added to that films that, watched once, remain vivid and bright forever. The secret of the ruby glass.