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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Werner Herzog. If you've seen one of his films, you're probably wondering "Okay, what's with this guy?" If you haven't seen one of his films, you probably have absolutely no interest in this film, so I suggest you go see one of his films then return to this page and see this film after you see his film and think, "What's with this guy?" This movie follows a movie of his called Fitzcarraldo which is a mix of the true-life account of an Irish man who founded a city in the Amazon jungle and the tale of Sysiphus, the Greek myth about the guy in Hades who had to carry the heavy rock to the top of the mountain, only to have it roll back down again at the end of the day.
In typical Herzog fashion, his movie begins almost to reflect it's very subject, as Herzog finds himself in the Amazon dealing with hundreds of natives, a dangerous political climate, unaccommodating weather, and having to take a three-story thousand ton ship over the same journey Fitzcarraldo would have to (all in the name of realism). In the meantime he discussing the importance of movies, his own fascination/love/hatred of the jungle, and we see a film nearly self-implode many times over.
It's actually pretty grueling work to watch (as is pretty much most of Herzog's films), and Les Blank definitely shows himself to have an intimate understanding of the situation so that he isn't judgmental of Herzog but still able to reveal some of his more, let's say, quirky traits. Some more interesting subject matter is Klaus Kinski, who as you watch you can never tell if he's acting in a scene or just being himself.
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