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 »
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 »
Documentary that chronicles how Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979) was plagued by extraordinary script, shooting, budget, and casting problems--nearly destroying the life and career of the celebrated director.
A look at the spirit of New Orleans. First a funeral: Allen Toussaint explains that you arrive slow and cut up afterwards. Then it's food, with a lesson in eating crayfish at Frankie and ... 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 »
This film shows the disaster of the Kuwaitian oil fields in flames, with few interviews and no explanatory narration. Hell itself is presented in such beautiful sights and music that one has to be fascinated by it.
During the 1990s, David Lee Hoffman searched throughout China for the finest teas. He's a California importer who, as a youth, lived in Asia for years and took tea with the Dali Lama. ... See full summary »
David Lee Hoffman,
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 driven director. Not only does he have major casting problems, losing both Jason Robards (health) and Mick Jagger (other commitments) halfway through shooting, but the crew gets caught up in a war between Peru and Ecuador, there are problems with the weather and the morale of cast and crew is falling rapidly. Written by
Michael Brooke <email@example.com>
Herzog is stranded in the jungle with a 300 ton steam ship that won't move and time is running out. He needs money to move the ship but no one would invest unless the ship moves first.
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an exceptional documentary about behind-the-scenes film-making
Werner Herzog's "Fitzcarraldo" is a fine film which broke most artistic, logistical and financial conventions of good film-making. Herzog set out to take great liberties with the history of an historical character, a 19th century Irish Peruvian rubber tapper--and then, incongruously, abandoned the cinematic art of illusion to undertake some very dangerous filming in remote Amazonian jungles of Peru. One of the unfortunate consequences is that little of the danger is self-evident to uninformed audiences accustomed to illusion. That's where Les Blanks filled in the blanks with his extraordinary documentary, "Burden of Dreams"--an essential companion to "Fitzcarraldo". There are obvious comparisons to be drawn with Eleanor Coppola's "Hearts of Darkness", about "Apocalypse Now"--especially as a study of directorial obsession. Blanks's film reveals "Fitzcarraldo" to have been a much riskier and crazier project than "Apocalypse". This first class documentary should be in DVD.
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