Alan Greenberg first showed up at Herzog's Munich home at age twenty-four. At the end of their evening together Herzog urged Greenberg to work with him on his film Heart of Glass—and everything thereafter. He clinched his plea by assuring the young American that "On the outside we’ll look like gangsters, while on the inside we’ll wear the gowns of priests."
What Greenberg didn’t know at the time was how unusual Herzog’s filmmaking methods could be. In Heart of Glass, Herzog exercised control over his actors in a unique way: he hypnotized them before shooting their scenes. The result was one of the most haunting movies ever made.
Not since Lillian Ross’s classic 1950 book Picture, about John Huston directing The Red Badge of Courage, has an American writer given such a close, firsthand, book-length account of how a director makes a movie. But Every Night the Trees Disappear is not a conventional, journalistic account; instead it presents a unique vision with the feel of a novel—intimate, penetrating, and filled with mystery.