Neflixed: Fitzcarraldo


For some reason, I've never seen a Werner Herzog movie. Being a great fan of Caruso, I thought I'd start with this one.

Netflixed: Fitzcarraldo In this intoxicating, one-of-a-kind film, obsessed opera lover Klaus Kinski dreams of building a concert hall in the middle of the Amazon jungle. To realize his vision, he must haul a huge riverboat up (and down) a mountainside with help from a local Indian tribe. Fitzcarraldo is another weird gem from German director Werner Herzog's offbeat oeuvre.
Apparently, Mick Jagger was in the film, but after casting problems (lead actor became ill) caused re-shooting, Jagger's character was removed.
Herzog originally cast Jason Robards in the title role, but he became ill during the shoot and was eventually replaced by Kinski. Mick Jagger also had a role as Fitzcarraldo's assistant. When Robards left due to illness, forty percent of the film had already been completed and would have to be reshot from the beginning. Mick Jagger had to leave the film to go on tour, and his character was removed from the reshoot. Werner Herzog was considering playing the character of Fitzcarraldo himself until Klaus Kinski had agreed to play the part. The film was then reshot in German.
Years ago, back in my college-haze days in Austex, a family friend, Fletcher Starbuck suggested watching this film, and the documentary, Burden of Dreams as well. From IMdB
A real 340 ton steam ship was moved over the mountain with a bulldozer without the use of special effects.

Fitzcarraldo: The Original Story (Werner Herzog)
“Fitzcarraldo: The Original Story” (Werner Herzog)

Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog)
“Fitzcarraldo” (Werner Herzog)

Burden of Dreams - Criterion Collection (Les Blank)
“Burden of Dreams - Criterion Collection” (Les Blank)

and this factoid intrigues me
Klaus Kinski was also a major source of tension as he fought with Herzog and other members of the crew and greatly upset the native extras. In his documentary My Best Fiend, Herzog says that one of the native chiefs offered to murder Kinski for him, and he once told Kinski that if he carried out a threat to leave the film he would shoot both Kinski and himself in the head.

The Screenwriter's Workbook (Syd Field)


I've seen his Nosferatu (with Kinski as the moody monster) and recently watched Stroszek. Any film where the hero ends up on a ski lift with a frozen turkey, a shotgun, and a case of beer is alright by me.

I might have seen Nosferatu as a double feature with the original, but I really cannot recall a single scene, so I might have dreamt the occasion. Stroszek looks interesting. I drove around in Wisconsin last summer.

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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on February 1, 2006 7:00 PM.

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