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.
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 »
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 »
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
El Hedi ben Salem,
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>
This film, as well as several other early films by Werner Herzog, were shot on a 35mm camera that he stole as a young man from the Munich Film School, a predecessor to today's prestigious film school 'HFF München'. Herzog himself never was a film student there or anywhere. He readily admits to the theft but also justifies it with the significance of the films he's made with the camera and his right to artistic expression: "It was a very simple 35mm camera, one I used on many other films, so I do not consider it a theft. For me, it was truly a necessity. I wanted to make films and needed a camera. I had some sort of natural right to this tool. If you need air to breathe, and you are locked in a room, you have to take a chisel and hammer and break down a wall. It is your absolute right."[Cronin, 2003] See more »
The "dead" Indian slave opens his eyes as the horse walks by. See more »
Brother Gaspar de Carvajal:
'Thou lettest man flow on like a river, and Thy years know no end. As for man, his days are like grass as a flower on the field, so he blossoms. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone, and the place thereof shall know it no more.' You know, my child, for the good of our Lord, the Church was always on the side of the strong.
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Werner Herzog's widely acclaimed film about a 16th century expedition into the Southern American jungle looks like some hippie commune happened upon a bunch of costumes and a camera and decided to make a movie because "everybody's an artist".
Klaus Kinski, in the title role, does his wild-eyed Kinski routine, overshadowing in the process the rest of the cast who seem to be on a mission to demonstrate that acting's actually hard.
The editing is poor. The results of the complete post-production sound overdub range from the o.k. to the ridiculous.
All aspects of the camera-work are done really badly. As for choices of frames and camera movement, nothing in particular seemed to motivate the former except for the desire to show the person that's speaking most of the time; the latter makes you remember that it's not easy to hold a camera still when you have one leg in the river, the other on an uneven stone and nothing to stabilize the camera. The lighting and colours? Well, you can see everything alright.
The complete absence of a narrative arc, the lack of motivation for some scenes (during one I got the impression that the actor was wondering when it would be over so he could finally scratch his arse) and the quality of the dialogues might lead the naive observer to believe that they just made the story up as they went along. But no. From Wikipedia:
"Herzog wrote the screenplay "in a frenzy", and completed it in only two and a half days. Much of the script was written during a 200-mile (320 km) bus trip with Herzog's football team. During the bus trip, his teammates got drunk after winning a game and one of them subsequently vomited on several pages of Herzog's manuscript, which he immediately tossed out the window. Herzog claims he can't remember what he wrote on these pages.
"The screenplay was shot as written, with some minor differences."
When people say that something's "so bad that it's good", they usually mean that a work of art is unintentionally funny, and indeed I had to laugh when I watched some of the death scenes, which seem like reenactments of something out of The Simpsons. But what kept me watching was the fascination with the yawning gap between the film's renown and the real thing. Incredible.
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