In a Glass Cage

In a Glass Cage

Director: Agustín Villaronga Cast: Günter Meisner, David Sust, Marisa Paredes

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Stylistically compelling, morally ambiguous, and profoundly unsettling, this Spanish psychodrama from writer-director Agustin Villaronga stands beside Pier Paolo Pasolini's Salo as one of cinema's most unflinching depictions of human depravity. The story opens in post-WWII Catalonia as former Nazi death camp "doctor" Klaus (Gunter Meisner) consummates his torture-murder of a young man by hurling himself from the roof of his house; this act, motivated either by a sudden attack of conscience or by some form of sexual mania, leaves him paralyzed from the neck down and unable to breathe on his own. We soon find Klaus lying prone in an archaic iron lung, attended by his stern wife Griselda (Marisa Paredes) and young daughter Rena (Gisela Echevarria). When they become unable (or, in his wife's case, unwilling) to look after him, Griselda hires handsome young nurse Angelo (David Sust), unaware that the young man is one of Klaus' former victims, who has maintained a detailed dossier on the "doctor" and his countless unspeakable atrocities. Thus begins a perverse and surreal manipulation of master/servant roles between the immobile Klaus and his equally demented attendant, as the young man attempts to recreate the nightmare world of the camps, even procuring more young victims for his former tormentor's amusement. Though it could be asserted that the stylistically accomplished Villaronga has made a passionate artistic statement about mankind's capacity for unspeakable atrocities, his film may be construed as being one of those horrors in itself. At any rate, Tras el Cristal is not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
UPC: 0881190010693
Original Release: 1985
Rating: NR
Source: Cult Epics
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Time: 1:52:00

Special Features

Agusti Villaronga (2011); Q&A w/Agusti Villaronga (2010); Short films: Anta Mujer (1976); Laberint (1980); Al Mayurca (1980)

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- In a Glass Cage
1. The Final Blow [4:27]
2. Opening Credits [1:55]
3. Iron Lung [1:41]
4. The Devil Himself [6:24]
5. Late Night Visit [4:25]
6. People Are Very Strange [8:02]
7. Cutting the Power [3:33]
8. This is Not a Game [9:53]
9. Griselda's Death [12:03]
10. I'm Scared [3:52]
11. Dismissed [6:18]
12. Storytelling [4:16]
13. I Love Death [10:21]
14. Redecorating [4:33]
15. I'm the Boss Here [5:13]
16. Sing [5:13]
17. Role Reversal [10:59]
18. Thank You Angelo [8:26]

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In a Glass Cage 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Villaronga's shattering study of man's inhumanity to children and the legacy of the second World War and all it's horrors is,like SALO,a film that you can never shake off after viewing...seen by some as exploitation,this is anything but,instead,a serious,artisticaly valid study of the depths of the human soul,with superb acting from all concerned,especially David Sust as Angelo,giving one of the most fearsomely accomplished and morally disturbing performances in all cinema! Not easy viewing,but challenging,powerful and oddly human in it's final analysis,this film stays with you like a bad fever dream for weeks after seeing it...