One of Herzog's films from early in his career- this is a good film though perhaps it is overshadowed by Les Blank's documentary about the making of the film " Burden of Dreams "- one the best making of documentaries ever made.
Werner Herzog and his nemesis Klaus Kinski return to "Wrath of God" country in this tale of man vs. nature, but this time around Kinski trades in Aguirre’s bloodthirsty megalomania for an obsessive, just slightly unhinged, romanticism. Notorious for its production problems—Kinski was a raging lunatic, the elements refused to cooperate, and there were deaths, disabilities, and disease—Herzog’s film is a surprisingly lucid, at time pastoral, rumination on man’s eternal struggle, the power of art, and the legacy of colonialism (ironic considering how he exploited his small army of Indian extras). A by-the-numbers plot is lifted into the surreal by a series of striking tableaux: Caruso blares from an onboard gramophone as native drumming answers from the surrounding jungle; a ragtag flotilla of rickety motorboats transport an opera company across the Amazon—with costumes and props on full display; and straining natives haul Fitzcarraldo’s multi-ton steamboat through the forest (no special effects used, just an unseen bulldozer). Unfortunately dubbed and in need of a good editing, this is still a charming Quixotic tale of one man who set out to tame the wilderness with Strauss and Wagner only to return full circle to where he began only wiser if not exactly richer.
Herzog in his element - nature and obsession.
I look forward to watching the documentary that Herzog made about the making of this film - Burden of Dreams.
Fitzcarraldo is an epic film, sweeping and grand in every sense. It is bold, ambitious, and its execution is astonishing.
This is a beautiful film that deserves a look not only for its technical achievements, but also for its meditations on ego, obsession, and the tyranny of will.
I couldn't get past the first 15 min. I found Klaus K. too ridiculous to look at. I just can't explain it.
I expected more from this movie. Overall this movie is very slow at times and uninteresting. The journey up the jungle river was nothing spectacular (I was hoping for an Apocalypse Now type feeling) but the moving of the steamship over the mountain was interesting. I did enjoy the final bit with the natives using the steamship to appease the gods to be quite good. Give this movie a pass or be prepared to fast forward lots.
If you are interested we will be discussing this movie at the Carlingwood Library Film Club on July 9/13 at 7:00 pm. See you there
Herzog made an Herculean effort to do the film, with Klaus Kinski basically playing a version of himself. While it is not the most exciting film to watch, the river ride up through the Amazon jungle and the use of a great number of natives to drag a steamboat up the mountain were definitely something worth your time. 'Absurd human obession' is one sentiment that came to mind after watching it.
Ron@Ottawa thinks this title is suitable for All Ages
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