Sunday, June 06, 2010

Fitzcarraldo

Have you ever seen Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo? Incredible. Maybe one of the most ambitious films I've ever seen. I certainly love the fact that instead of using special effects, they actually dragged a massive boat over a mountain. This was a visual treat and a brilliant epic.



I am eager now to see the film about the making of Fitzcarraldo, called Burden of Dreams.

10 comments:

Brad said...

Watched this back-to-back with Aguirre: Wrath of God, which only enhanced the experience. What an extraordinary filmmaker.

Jon Coutts said...

Hey Brad good to meet you. I think you're the Brad I think you are.

I am eager to see Aguirre as well. Am about to sit down to Herzog's "The White Diamond". Besides being enjoyable, I'm finding these subtitled films mildly helpful for becoming more acquainted with German.

dguretzki said...

Amazing! Now i have to see it...

Jon, you should do a top 10 "river films." Just watching the Youtube clip immediately reminded me of some scenes from Apocalypse Now!

Dave M said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this film so much Jon. I had a similar reaction when I saw it too. It was liking finding footage of a ghost, a first hand perspective of something so incredible and terrifying.

Anonymous said...

Herzog's films are like arrows shot straight up in the air. Know what I mean? He's so recklessly beautiful. Life-affirming.

You can't fake the things he does in his movies. I'm in awe, like everyone else.

-Matthew W

Jon Coutts said...

"footage of ghosts", "recklessly beautiful" -- yeah, those capture it alright. I couldn't believe my eyes.

DGuretzki: Well, we've got a top two there, but what else is there? Interestingly enough, Roger Ebert put Fitzcarraldo in with Apocalypse Now (and 2001) as movies where you are aware of the filmmaking as you watch, and it adds rather than takes away.

Brad said...

Jon,

I am indeed the Brad you think I am, if in fact you are the Jon I think you are. Good to meet you too.

I'll be interested to know what you think about The White Diamond. I watched it alongside Grizzly Bear, as well as Encounters at the End of the World, and I didn't feel like it stood up. A neat story, but Herzog seemed to get in the way.

Jon Coutts said...

I'm only half through White Diamond, but it doesn't feel like it has the same inherent drama to it as does Grizzly Man (maybe because we take flying for granted). Otherwise, it feels like he's doing the same sort of thing. The fact that it is just a guy with a balloon makes it seem a little more trite, even though it has that accident in the past to draw on.

That said, I love how Herzog's lingering after an interviewee answers a question is able to capture the person in their authentic strange-otherness (or is it an authenticity of awkwardness induced by the camera?)

Grizzly Man is tough to beat, I haven't seen Encounters, but plan too, and am glad to hear it is a bit above White Diamond.

Jon Coutts said...

Okay so after finishing White Diamond it was better than I thought, some amazing images, but still not up to Grizzly Man's intensity.

Colin Toffelmire said...

I'll have to add this to my list of movies to watch. As for river movies, how about Deliverance?