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Bruno S. gives another haunting performance as a German street musician who flees an impossible life for the American dream in STROSZEK.


only in Bavaria, but at different points around the world, including County Kerry in Ireland, as well as Alaska and Yellowstone and Monument Valley, Wyoming—as in FATA MORGANA, forging a fan- tastic landscape that does not exist as such in real- ity. Florian Fricke’s Popol Vuh provides a different kind of score to his AGUIRRE soundtrack, one rich in lyrical, chiming, multi-tracked guitars and cym- bals that imbue the proceedings with a high-alti- tude, alpine feel while reminding us, in its contemporary feel, that we are watching the story from the vantage point predicted. HEART OF GLASS shares a disc with STROSZEK under the BFI imprint while Shout! Factory honors the film with a disc of its own. Both preserve the film’s 1.66:1 ratio, with Shout’s trans- fer once again looking darker and more digitally enhanced than BFI’s more natural presentation.


Herzog recalls that his next three films came about because, after the almost weightless creative experience of HEART OF GLASS, he felt that he needed to cultivate a stronger foundation beneath his feet. This need led him to consider filming his own versions of two of the most emphatically Ger- man projects from the generation of his grandfa- thers: NOSFERATU and WOYZECK. He initially promised the role of Woyzeck to Bruno S., but the deeper he got into preparing to film NOSFERATU


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with Klaus Kinski, he began to see that it was nec- essary to film the two properties in tandem, with Kinski in the two leads, without taking the neces- sary time to secure additional permits. He tele- phoned Bruno to apologize and discovered that the actor had rearranged his life to meet Herzog’s prior expectations. To make things right, Herzog told him that he would star him in another film immediately. Asked what that film might be, Herzog blurted out the title STROSZEK, which not only sounded like Woyzeck but also happened to be the name of the protagonist in his first feature film, SIGNS OF LIFE (Lebenszeichen, 1968). He reportedly improvised a shooting script in only four days, basing it on some episodes from the actor’s own life. For some reason, Shout! Factory opts to position these three films in the reverse order of production: STROSZEK, WOYZECK, NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE.


STROSZEK 1977, 107m 52s (S!F), 107m 50s (BFI)


STROSZEK opens with Bruno Stroszek (Bruno S.), an addle-pated street musician, being released from prison for “alcohol offenses.” It is here, as he bids his farewells to the warden and his cellmates, that he is shown in the most nurturing of all his environments over the next 108 minutes. After swearing to the warden that he will never enter


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