Herzog’s film, something of a curiosity in film history due to the fact that almost the entire cast performed while under hypnosis, tells the story of a small, 18th-century Bavarian village thrown into chaos after the death of its foremost resident—a glass blower and the lone holder of the secret recipe of the brilliant “ruby glass.” A local baron, owner of the glass factory where the master blower toiled, has been obsessed with the glass for some time, and soon the rest of the townsfolk pick up this fascination. However, all anyone can do is wander aimlessly, distraught and anxious following the loss of the secret recipe, until an outsider herdsman with prescient visions of the future appears in town one day.
Appears in: Essential Gus Van Sant (& His Influences)
Other Films by Werner Herzog
Fitzcarraldo remains one of the cinema’s most enduring tales of man versus nature, both onscreen and (famously) in production. Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, nicknamed “Fitzcarraldo” by the South American natives among whom he lives, is an eccentric visionary who dreams only on an epic scale. Already bankrupted by a Trans-Andean railroad scheme, he next decides to …