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 »
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 »
German-American Dieter Dengler discusses his service as a U.S. naval pilot in the Vietnam War. Dengler also revisits the sites of his capture and eventual escape from the hands of the Viet Cong, recreating many events for the camera.
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 <email@example.com>
Close to 1,000 indigenous extras were housed in barrack-like conditions. The majority had moved hundreds of miles from their homes, families, and most importantly, their gardens. The food was appalling. Medical supplies were limited. There weren't enough women to produce Chicha de Yucca (manioc beer), an indigenous staple. The only available diversion was soccer, until the ball burst. Tensions increased when one extra died of malaria. Some extras worked for 6 months, for an official pay rate of about $2 per day. They didn't know that filming would run twice as long as Werner Herzog estimated, or that they would spend most of their time clearing forest slopes and trying to haul a 365-ton ship, ten times bigger than the original, up a 40-degree incline. See more »
During one of boat drifting scene, crew members are visible at the top of the boat, including a man in jeans who tries to avoid the camera. See more »
This film was a real labour of love for Werner Herzog (he said at the time of making it: "I live my life or end my life with this film"). The movie tells the story of an entrepreneaur (Klaus Kinski) who is obssessed with the idea of building a Grand Opera house in the Peruvian jungle. To get the money to do this however, he has to set off on a long and dangerous journey to open up new trade routes for a previously inaccessible part of the jungle, rich in valuable rubber trees.
The most famous image in the film is the hauling of a large steam-boat up the side of a mountain (a feat which was achieved by the film-makers without the aid of special effects). Visually, the film is spectacular and everything is beautifully photographed. Kinski is superb as the crazed adventurer.
On the minus side, however, some viewers might be put off by the slow pace of the film.
This film stands as one of Herzog's best, and most accessible works, and is a must-see for anyone.
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