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Woyzeck/Heart Of Glass [VHS]

Josef Bierbichler , Stefan Güttler , Werner Herzog    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Josef Bierbichler, Stefan Güttler, Clemens Scheitz, Sonja Skiba, Wolf Albrecht
  • Directors: Werner Herzog
  • Writers: Werner Herzog, Herbert Achternbusch
  • Producers: Werner Herzog
  • Language: German
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Tartan
  • VHS Release Date: 22 May 1995
  • Run Time: 174 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CQF7
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 300,740 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A poor army private (Klaus Kinski), haunted by nightmares of impending destruction, is forced to take part in a scientist's food deprivation experiments in order to support his wife (Eva Mattes) and child. However he becomes convinced that she is having an affair with a drum major and stabs her to death. Werner Herzog's film covers familiar territory for the German director: examining man's struggle with the world around him, as viewed through the eyes of an outsider figure abused by society and persecuted by nature. Also included is Herzog's gothic film about a nomad with magical powers who has the secret of making a unique and precious glass, 'Heart of Glass'.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An esoteric and somewhat confusin masterpiece! 29 Aug 2006
The essential metaphor which beats at the heart of glass, is the terrible and frightening fragility of existence. Hias the prophet, sees a future in which not only the village is engulfed in flames, but the world itself, he foresees the raise of nazism and like a good many Herzog productions the echoes of fascism reverberate. This is a village in which the capitalist dictator who owns the glass factory, can enter peoples houses on a whim and take their property, and can almost get away with murder. That murder, insanity and death should hang palpably over this film is no accident; the glass is red for a reason as it represents the very life essence of the village, with the demise of its vital ingredient, so the village slowly dies. Herzog's articulation of this mass breakdown is rendered beautifully, in a way which is quite simply painterly. Whether one considers the hypnotism of many cast members a gimmick or not, the result is perhaps the most accurately displayed example of mass hysteria committed to celluloid. There is an abyss at the centre of the film, which the audience itself finds itself walking into. A sense of somnambulism which emerges out of the screen. Structurally this is a confusing film, jumping all over the place, no regard for time or space - which gives it a dream logic perfect to the content of the film. The forces of creation and destruction are at work in this film and in many ways it is reminiscent of FATA MORGANA. Like the earlier film HEART OF GLASS is challenging and disturbing and in my opinion has the greatest opening 10 minutes in cinema. Wonderfully obtuse, wonderfully mythical - Herzog's finest moment.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally bats! 23 Jun 2003
Honestly, this film is absolutely, totally bats, and all the better for it. 70s European arthouse cinema at its strangest. Good old Werner. Who else would hypnotise a whole cast - he did it himself, by the way; he had to sack the hypnotist he hired because he was too weird. Herzog's commentary, like those done for other movies, is fascinating.
Worth buying for the shot of the clouds passing over the mountains; one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Heart of Glass begins with a scene of quiet contemplation, as the central protagonist sits alone on a rock overlooking a field of cattle, entranced by the pulsating sounds of the Scandinavian soundtrack and the sight of a thick, impenetrable fog that lingers across the screen. The pace of this scene, and of course, the pace of the proceeding film, is one of slow foreboding and persistent dread, as the filmmaker allows the images to run naturally, refusing to break the trancelike pace that is slowly being created between the subtle symbiosis of sound and vision. At this point, the voice over comes in, and the film cuts to a lengthy shot of a cascading waterfall that we, as an audience, are directed to stare into. Here, Herzog is inviting the audience, albeit, subjectively, to drift off into the same dreamlike state that is inhabited by his characters and indeed, enter into a hypnotic realm of woozy reflection and severe stylisation.
It is important for Herzog to establish such a lethargic and entrancing mood at the beginning of the film, with the stylisations here used to convey to the audience the sense of blind obsession, entrancement, possession and greed. Around this central cinematic notion- as well as the basic plot - the film is further fleshed out by Herzog and his cinematographer Jörg Schmidt-Reitwein, who here creates some haunting and hypnotic compositions, which further compliment those bold stylisations and over-exaggerations (or indeed, under-exaggerations, depending on how you look at it) from Herzog and his performers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A dreamlike experience 21 Nov 2006
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Famous as the film where all but one cast member was hypnotized by its director, Heart of Glass is another of Werner Herzog's almost ethereal looks at damaged, alienated (indeed, almost alien) protagonists completely unsuited for the world around them. In this case it's an entire pre-industrial town where the secret of making the ruby glass that the local economy depends on has been lost, and with it the townspeople have lost all will to live and wander around in a somnambulist daze reminiscent of an entire community of Clive Owens: well, a slightly livelier Clive Owen at least, if such a thing can be possibly imagined. Only the local shepherd-cum-prophet is immune from the spell, his real prophecies a mixture of the strikingly pertinent and the truly nonsensical. Naturally, this being Herzog, a chicken does feature briefly, although whether it also is hypnotised is open to debate. It should be horribly and unwatchably self-indulgent, but the strikingly beautifully photographed tableaux and the weird poetry in its soul turns it into a dreamlike experience you drift through almost benignly despite the darkness, madness, violence and hopeless stupidity on display.

Aside from trailer, production notes and stills gallery, the main extra is another one of Herzog's excellent audio commentaries.
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