Book Review “Every Night the Trees Disappear: Werner Herzog and the Making of Heart of Glass”

Author: Alan Greenberg
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Release Date: May 1, 2012

Our Score: 4 out 5 stars

Werner Herzog is easily one of the world’s greatest filmmakers. His films include “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”, “Nosferatu the Vampyre”, “Grizzly Man”, “Rescue Dawn”, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” and of course “Heart of Glass”. This book is an up-close and rare look into the making of “Heart of Glass”, courtesy of friend and collaborator to Herzog, Alan Greenberg. Herzog is known for his unique approach to filmmaking and it is shown throughout all of his films. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book but it is one of those rare books that you honestly can’t put down. Page after page this book is extremely interesting and informative.

Alan Greenberg and Warner Herzog have known each other for almost 40 years and there is no better person to cover this material. If you have seen “Heart of Glass”, you know it is a very dark and haunting film but easily one of Herzog’s best. In this book you will find out many interesting facts that many have never known. Greenberg revealed that Herzog, in an attempt to control his actors, hypnotized them before shooting their scenes. I wouldn’t give it a second thought when it comes to Herzog’s style.  That is only the tip of the iceberg reveled about the production, I want to say more but I don’t want to spoil it.  Read for yourself.

This book is fully backed by Herzog as he provides both the foreword and the afterword. I have read many “making-of” books and none of them have felt as real as this one does. It feels more like a novel spilling insider secrets that have been hidden for years. I also need to point out that the book also has very personal and crisp color photos lying within the middle of the book, very nice touch to complement the book. I recommend this book highly to all fans of Werner Herzog, but I warn you expect to finish the book in one sitting.