During the 1800s, paroled Brazilian bandit Cobra Verde is sent to West Africa with a few troops to man an old Portuguese fort and to convince the local African ruler to resume the slave trade with Brazil.
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 »
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>
The low budget precluded the use of stunt men or elaborate special effects. The cast and crew climbed up mountains, hacked through thick jungle, and rode ferocious Amazonian river rapids on rafts built by natives. At one point, a storm caused a river to flood, covering the film sets in several feet of water and destroying all the rafts built for the film. This flooding was immediately incorporated into the story, as a sequence including a flood and subsequent rebuilding of rafts was shot. See more »
The "dead" Indian slave opens his eyes as the horse walks by. See more »
Don Fernando de Guzman:
All the land to our left and all the land to our right now belongs to us. I solemnly and formally take possession of all this land. Our country is already six times larger than Spain, and every day we drift makes it bigger.
Don Lope de Aguirre:
Have you seen any solid ground that would support your weight?
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"Aguirre, the Wrath of God": Werner Herzog is one of my all-time favorite film makers, and this is one of my favorite films by him. Actually taken from the diary of the priest who accompanied Pizarro's expedition in 1560, Herzog recreates the pretentious and self-deluded search for the "Lost City of Gold - Eldorado".
Herzog likes true stories...ones that are bizarre in their own right, but with his direction and personal vision, they become profound (and never optimistic). The camera work is always interesting (he single-handedly "patented" camera shots that don't sweep - they ("you") stare and stare - and stare - at a thing or person or place until it becomes abstract, intense, beautiful, threatening, profound), the scoring is always appropriate yet never expected, and his casting, often using the unique talents of the late Klaus Kinski, guarantee nothing less than an intense experience...even in a film like "Aguirre", which SLOWLY claws and slogs it's way along each and every slippery, dangerous, foreign mile of jungle.
It is clear Herzog 'focuses' on the ridiculously high beliefs humans create for and hold of themselves - that they could actually "own" anything, "conquer" anything, outwit that which they do not understand, and by sheer Will cause anything they deem important, to exist. Herzog is NOT a cheerleader for the history of humans, but he is a ponderer... and we are fortunate he does it on film.
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