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An entire community is cut off from its past and future when the secret formula for their prized ruby glass dies with its inventor in HEART OF GLASS.


music, architecture, religion and the peace of mind a loving home can bring. It is only after Daumer’s restoration of Kaspar’s human dignity that he be- gins to attract the interest of the higher classes, including Lord Stanhope (Michael Kroecher, a fey Viennese actor who resembles a prettier Phantom of the Opera) makes a bid to adopt him, but his quick embarrassment at Kaspar’s rough edges help Daumer to see that such adoption would only lead to a higher form of sideshow exploitation. The film is dedicated to Lotte Eisner, whom the opening titles present not as the great scholar of expressionist cinema that she was, but as one of the generation who had to leave Germany for awhile—which encourages a reading of the film as an indictment of Germany as a two-faced country with a history of hobbling, oppressing and shack- ling its original thinkers. The cast also features Enno Patalas, one of Germany’s most accomplished film scholars, as a pastor trying to instill a sense of spirit in this foundling who embodies so much of uncontrolled nature.


The film’s trailer (2m 52s) offers an unintended peek into how the film was sometimes rewritten by Herzog on the set: in a scene of Kaspar responding to a beautifully played piano piece, which occurs in the film at 59:30, he explains the tears flooding his eyes by saying that the music (played by Popol Vuh’s


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Florian Fricke) “feels strong in his breast,” whereas in the trailer, he asks his sponsor and educator Pro- fessor Daumer (Walter Ladengast) why things are always so hard for him—a more conscious and ar- ticulate response to his environment than Kaspar gives elsewhere in the film, while his answer in the film has a rough-hewn, magical quality truer to his portrayed character.


Shout! Factory’s presentation of the 2013 Willi Ziegler restoration features natural muted colors and occasionally disconcertingly deep blacks. In the early shot of Kaspar’s original keeper sitting beside him as he sleeps soundly on the grass, it is impossible to tell if the silhouetted man in the hat and cape are facing him, or facing away from him. The matter is settled by the BFI’s preferable transfer, which is somewhat brighter, taking the mystery out of such shadows while exposing a moderate degree of ad- ditional grain, and boosting the color slightly. The latter also helps the film to play in a somewhat more fantastical, as opposed to documentary, light. Also, the version of this film I saw theatrically in the 1970s began with the shot of the windblown grasses, whereas this version precedes it with vari- ous disconnected shots of nature and a crisp, state of the art digital scroll of background information concerning Kaspar. The soundtrack—in German with optional English subtitles—has a good deal of


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