In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »
The feared bandit Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski) is hired by a plantation owner to supervise his slaves. After the owner suspects Cobra Verde of consorting with his young daughters, the owner ... See full summary »
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
El Hedi ben Salem,
A documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's epic Fitzcarraldo (1982), showing how the film managed to get made despite problems that would have floored a less obsessively ... See full summary »
A few decades after the destruction of the Inca empire, a Spanish expedition leaves the mountains of Peru and goes down the Amazon river in search of gold and wealth. Soon, they come across great difficulties and Don Aguirres, a ruthless man who cares only about riches, becomes their leader. But will his quest lead them to "the golden city", or to certain destruction? Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <email@example.com>
Klaus Kinski's crazed performance bore similarities to the real Aguirre, a "true homicidal megalomaniac". Many of his fellow soldiers considered his actions to be that of a madman. Kinski's use of a limp reflected one that Aguirre actually had, the result of a battle injury. Aguirre's frequent short but impassioned speeches to his men in the film were accurately based on the man's noted "simple but effective rhetorical ability." See more »
In one shot where the camera moves around the rafts, you can see the crew's living arrangements (a bunch of rafts with huts on them) near the bank of the river. See more »
One of the reasons I go to the movies is to experience a place that I would otherwise not get to see. In Werner Herzog's astonishing "Aguirre: The Wrath of God" we are taken into the Andes region of the Middle and South Americas in the mid-16th century and are exposed to incredible images and faces. It's a haunting masterpiece that seems ageless.
At first sight, the costumes and effects seem amaturish, but quickly we realize that this makes the film superior to what it would have been if it had been made with a larger budget; it adds to the film's artistry and authenticity. Film is a visual medium and it works best when the images we see are not tied down to strictly suit the plot; this film is a feast for the eyes.
The plot, what little there is, is very simple: a crew aboard a raft are attempting to get to the City of Gold, El Dorado. Much like Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," we are taken on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of madness with the focus being primarily on mood, setting, atmosphere and images.
Klaus Kinski, in one of the best performances I've seen, embodies the insanity that comes with the quest for power. The physicality of Kinski's performance is startlingly effective - he seems drunk on his own sense of power and recalls Brando, Dean, and a young De Niro or Pacino at their most absorbed.
The music in the film inspires a sense of awe and wonder that, along with the lush landscape and vistas, succeeds in taking us to another place. These are the kinds of films I love: a director so obsessed with achieving a sensation of marvel, so ambitious in his scope that we are free to wander within the film's world as we watch the characters journey into the mysterious unknown of their mind.
There are many good, very good and great films - too many to list, in fact. What I am hoping to do is label each film I see fit as a "masterwork".
This film is a masterwork.
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