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 ...
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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.
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 »
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>
I originally wondered why the Criterion Collection would choose to release this documentary. I knew that Herzog was a cinematic titan, and that the filming of Fitzcarraldo was supposedly a journey of it's own, and I even believed that the filming of a 30 ton ship being hoisted over a mountain deserved a documentary, but why would a prestigious DVD house choose to release this among the likes of Rashomon, The 400 Blows, Band of Outsiders, etc. After watching this film, it becomes very evident as to why Burden of Dreams deserves the criterion treatment. Les Blank's film does a better job of portraying the insanity and spirit of Fitzcarraldo than the film itself. The similarities between the character Fitzcarraldo and Herzog himself are endless. Despite Blank's poetic filming of the amazon jungle, despite all of the conflicts the cast and natives encounter, and despite the brilliant documentary footage displayed, the heart of this film is the the essence of cinema. This movie is about film-making and the art of it; it's passion, it's plight, it's entirety. When Herzog closes the film by stating, "It's not only my dreams, it's my belief that they are your's as well, and the only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate. and that is what poetry or literature or film-making is all about. it's as simple as that. I make films because I have not learned anything else. and I know I can do it to a certain degree. and it is my duty, because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are, and we have to articulate ourselves, otherwise we would be cows in the field." You truly begin to understand this man, and this film, and cinema itself. Strongly recommended!
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