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 »
Fitzcarraldo is an obsessed opera lover who wants to build an opera in the jungle. To accomplish this he first has to make a fortune in the rubber business, and his cunning plan involves hauling an enormous river boat across a small mountain with aid from the local Indians. Written by
Rune Sandnes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Herzog's films are deeply personal, visually exciting and uncompromising
His films are perfect examples of the European tradition of the 'auteur' film, in which the director is seen as the originating and creative force behind the work But there is also a sense that Herzog's visionary monomaniacs function as the director's alter ego, embodying the heroic status of the auteur, always struggling against recalcitrant reality to fulfill his dream
This seems especially true of "Fitzcarraldo," which, sets a hundred years ago, begins with an Irish colonist who had a passion for opera rowing 1,200 miles down a South American river, accompanied by the madam of a brothel, in order to hear the great Caruso perform
Inspired by this experience, Fitzcarraldo embarks on a grandiose plan to open up the Amazonian jungle to river transport, providing access to new rubber plantations and thereby making enough money to build an opera house
Herzog's favorite actor, Klaus Kinski, is as appropriately manic as Fitzcarraldo, eyes glittering madly as he pursues his vision In the central sequence he organizes a tribe of Indians to help him pull a steamboat across a mountain in order to by-pass dangerous rapids
"Fitcarraldo" seems by turns admiring of its hero's megalomania and mocking of his hubris, with no illusions about the cynical exploitation of the region's riches by the rubber barons whom Fitzcarraldo tries to defeat by cleverness Ultimately though, it is the sheer spectacle which we remember
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