Most Read
  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey

    Fans of the latest Superman franchise got a treat at Pig & Whiskey this weekend. Actors Henry Cavill and Amy Adams were spotted amid the crowds of the festival that took place in downtown Ferndale as well as a local restaurant. Cavill, who plays the man of steel in the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, stopped to chat with fans, take pictures, and sign autographs on Saturday afternoon and evening. He was wearing an inconspicuous black polo shirt as well as a signature Superman-style ‘do. Other fans spotted Amy Adams at Ferndale’s Imperial on Saturday night, some were even seated next to her at the restaurant’s communal benches. Adams reportedly was slightly annoyed that patrons continuously asked for her photo, but she smiled while cell phones snapped images nonetheless. The Zach Snyder film the two are starring in together is currently filming in Birmingham. Ben Affleck, who plays Batman, has been spotted around town with his wife Jennifer Garner recently as well. The closed movie set is under intense security and Brett Callwood attempted to infiltrate the filming last month, but was forced to give up his camera’s memory card, lest he make off with telling photos.

    The post Henry Cavill and Amy Adams spotted at Pig & Whiskey appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit

    The Social Club Grooming Company, a metro Detroit-based environmentally conscious company that focuses on health and beauty as well as education, will host Shop Talk this Thursday, a special in their on-going event series that will bring students from both Harvard and Duke for a panel discussion about the social-entreprenurial climate and business innovation happening in Detroit. Detroiters like Burn Rubber’s Rick Williams, fashion photographer Piper Carter, Crain’s Detroit’s Eric Cedo, Mission Throttle’s Jamie Shea, and campaign manager Bryan Barnhill will come together to discuss how to create change in the city’s economic landscape through innovation and entrepreneurship. Of course what makes this panel discussion unique is the way in which it will take place. As The Social Club is a barber shop, each panelist will be receiving a haircut while speaking, the trimmings from which will be used for their nitrogen content to help grow plants in the city. Part of a series that will help Detroiters meet city leaders, voices, artists, activists, and business owners, Shop Talk’s objective is to help young people understand their role in the city’s ever-changing economic system. “There’s so much positive energy in Detroit right now,” says Sebastian Jackson, The Social Club’s founder. “It’s […]

    The post Shop Talk: Harvard and Duke students moderate panel discussion in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Summer Reading Guide 2012

Herzog the Hypnotist

The mad genius of film remains a mystery

Photo: , License: N/A

Werner Herzog at a 2007 press conference

Photo: , License: N/A

Every Night the Trees Disappear

Alan Greenberg

Chicago Review Press, $24.95, 224 pp.

When Hollywood adapts a beloved book, inevitably people say, "I want to read the book first." Alan Greenberg's new book about Werner Herzog's 1976 film Heart of Glass inspires the opposite reaction: You want to see the movie first.

For one thing, it will allow you to skip over the sections of the book that contain the film's scenario. The script would be worth reading if the film had been lost — but it hasn't. Even if you don't watch the film first, you must watch it if you want to read the book (and you can still skip the scenario, because, you must promise, you will watch the film).

The scenario is there to fill out what would otherwise be a slim volume comprised of the author's recollections of the making of Heart of Glass. If you know anything about Herzog — the mad genius of film — then you can probably guess this is nothing like the Making of Star Wars TV special you saw as a kid. It is a philosophical rumination about an infinitely peculiar artist that takes you straight into the heart of darkness — or at least the Heart of Glass, which, as it turns out, is pretty dark.

The film — set in a small village in Germany whose main industry is a glass factory famous for a red "ruby glass" whose formula has been lost with the death of the master craftsman — is one in which the actors are all characterized by stilted, jerky motions, bizarre speech, and glassy, distant gazes. But without reading Greenberg's book, one might not know that Herzog achieved this effect by hypnotizing the actors — who, in every case but one, were not professional actors at all, but rather people susceptible to hypnosis.

In the afterword, Herzog explains the rationale behind this strange method. "The story of a village community in Bavaria that walks straight into a foreseen and foretold disaster, almost like a community of sleepwalkers, needed a specific stylization," he writes. Only the actor playing Hias, the prophet who foretells doom, and those portraying the master glassmakers (who were actually dealing with molten glass), were not hypnotized. 

"But the trance was not with the actors alone," Herzog explains. "The film is permeated by images (and music) of a 'Land of Trance.'" For that matter, watching the film (at least as I did, with a slight cold after a long day of travel) puts the viewer into a similar trance. There was a several-hour period when I was convinced that Herzog had figured out a way to use film as a hypnotic method. (Herzog suggests as much in the afterword, so beware.)

Though Herzog is famed as one of the greatest directors, he is equally well-known for his eccentric personality and working methods. His epic battles with actor Klaus Kinski are legendary, as are his insane insistence that the crew of 1982's Fitzcarraldo actually lug a steamboat over an Amazonian mountain and the occasion when he ate his shoe on camera after losing a bet to documentarian Errol Morris.

It is the glimpse into this Herzog — the methodical madman with the camera — that makes Greenberg's book so compelling. Greenberg, now a filmmaker in his own right, met Herzog when he was a very young man. When Greenberg was sent to interview Herzog for a film journal in late 1975, the director immediately suggested that they "forget this interview; it's a waste of time. Make it up — say what you want." Instead, they talked poetry, music and sports. At the end of the day, Herzog mentioned that his new film would involve hypnosis, and asked Greenberg to join him. "There is work to be done, and we will do it well," Herzog told him. "On the outside we'll look like gangsters, while on the inside we'll wear the gowns of priests."

Gangsters, indeed: The next day, Herzog got Greenberg to drive while he and a friend went off with rifles to collect money from a producer. It wasn't until later, in the back of an Italian restaurant where Herzog began his experiments with hypnosis, that Greenberg saw the priestly aspect. But Herzog saw nothing mystical about hypnosis and fired the hypnotist he had hired because, as Herzog writes in the afterword, "He annoyed me to the point of utter disgust, as he tried to make me believe that there was a Cosmic aura somewhere. ... This New Age babble truly enraged me, and I decided to become the hypnotist myself."

As the book progresses, the hypnotism begins to play an increasingly minor role, and we see deeper into Herzog's working methods. He filmed much of the movie near his childhood home, giving Greenberg the chance to engage both the director, and the director's mother, with reflections on Herzog's childhood. "As a boy he had some strange habits," Mrs. Herzog says in the book. "At times I would look in and find him staring at a single object, the same object all day long." Herzog adds, "I was very dangerous, and my character was peculiar. It was almost as if I had rabies."

When Greenberg asks Herzog what he meant by "heart of glass," the director tells him that it is a fragile inner state. "It also means transparency," Herzog says. "And it means a glacial quality, as if some people have feelings from the freezer."

Though Every Night the Trees Disappear is a candid picture of the great director, it is more glacial than transparent. We learn a lot about Herzog, but he remains a mystery, like the ruby glass that eludes the factory owner. In the end, the best way to understand Herzog's Heart of Glass is to watch it

Baynard Wood is a staff writer at Baltimore's City Paper, in which this review originally appeared. Send comments to

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus