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 »
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.
A group of inhabitants of a correctional colony for people of small stature raises a riot against the local order. Tired of adhering to the many rules that require good behavior from them, ... 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 ... 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 monkeys that appear at the end of the film were somewhat difficult to acquire. According to Werner Herzog's commentary, he paid the men who were to provide them only half of what they asked for, as he didn't trust them and thought they would try to run off with the money without providing the monkeys. He was proved right, as they had sold the monkeys to someone else and they were to be flown to Florida. In desperation, Herzog pretended he was the veterinarian and that the monkeys didn't have their vaccination documents, which allowed him to finally get the monkeys and film their scenes. After this, all the monkeys were set free into the wild. See more »
When Pizarro sends off the expedition, he expects them to return in one week. However, when Don Pedro tells the men that they have to return by foot, he says that they could make it in two weeks "as Pizarro said". See more »
I was a prince in this land. No one was allowed to look directly into my eyes. But now I'm in chains, like my people, and I must bow my head. Almost everything was taken from us. I can't do anything; I'm powerless. But I am also sorry for you, because I know there is no escape from this jungle.
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The original released version is spoken in German. The actors spoke a variety of languages on set (including English), and the lines had to be re-recorded in post-production in the final language. Because of this, the dubbed English version is preferred by some. See more »
AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD (1972) Spaniards in search of El Dorado descend down an intense mountain peak with barely a path on it. Men slosh through a wet jungle forest with cannibals, dragging horses, cannons and women on thrones with them. Rafts try to navigate harsh rapids with no end in sight, sending one of them into a whirlpool. This is the first ten minutes. And it is probably easier than what it took to make the film.
Werner Herzog's masterpiece follows Klaus Kinski as a conquistador leading a group of men through his personal madness in Peru, searching for the mythical city of gold. Kinski wasn't an actor, he was a time-traveller, and his performances for Herzog are his best. My favorite scene of all his work is in this film early-on: as the huge group of slaves struggle and burn their souls carrying a woman on a throne-chair against the unforgiving jungle mud and trees, Kinski suddenly appears in the middle to offer a helping hand. He writhes and morphs, grabbing the slaves and shoving them, screaming at the top of his lungs, "Fools!!! The sedan chair is stuck!"
AGUIRRE is what got Herzog noticed around the world as part of a new group of German filmmakers along with Fassbinder and Wenders. His previous film was EVEN DWARVES STARTED SMALL, which resulted in Kinski calling him, "A mere dwarf director." The battles between he and Kinski should be legendary by now. The final result in Herzog stating he will grab his gun and kill both himself and Kinski as the actor was threatening to leave the production. Kinski was convinced and finished the film.
This story and more is part of the excellent analog track by Herzog, covering all of the hardcore production that overwhelms the more famous Coppola problems making Apocalypse Now. Herzog didn't have millions of dollars, rather 300 grand, had to live on the rafts for months and deal with the jungle and Kinski. But he never bitches - you do what you have to do, and the film is never compromised, from the costumes, the beautiful real locations and the boat hanging in the tree to the eerie group of small monkeys at the end (which Herzog had to steal, even though he paid for them). The analog track is constant (many now seem to take pauses to watch the film) with background on the idea, actors, filming and philosophies. Yes, that is a real mummy in the cannibal camp, for which Herzog's brother had to buy a passenger ticket for the plane ride over.
The DVD is another fantastic release giving the nice treatment to a title that can't be making them millionaires. The image looks great and is not letterboxed, so I assume that that is how Herzog prefers it. The three trailers didn't add much to the presentation, but that's a minor point. When they are finished with the entire Herzog collection, it will be one of the most fascinating career studies on DVD.
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