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WOW!I would like to say that I actually had a spiritual experience watching this film. Although I am quite a fan of Werner Herzog, because of his epic vision, blow your mind cinematography and exotic locales, I had not seen this one until recently. I also love, love, love the actor Klaus Kinski, but was prepared for another manic, insane performance the likes of Aguirre, the Wrath of God, where Kinski will be forever remembered for the ending scene of that film, standing on the doomed raft in the Peruvian jungle. But I digress; when I really caught on to who his character was in Fitzcarraldo, I was mesmerized by his eyes seeing the jungle and Native Indians, as if he had landed on another planet. In this film, he is an obsessed lover of Opera who has a dream to build an opera house in Peru. To realize this dream, he purchases an old beat up boat with the help of his lover, Claudia Cardinale, who shines with a luminous beauty while gliding past ramshackle huts by the river dressed in white lace. She owns a brothel and is well connected, but her friends laugh at the dream of Fitzcarraldo. After he refurbishes his boat and takes off down the Amazon, they enter a different world, and after enlisting the help of Native Peruvians, they attempt to lift the huge boat up over a mountain top. Fitzcarraldo's voyage of the soul, wanting one thing and ending with something else much better, made me cry, then laugh. This film truly has everything, including a surprise twist at the end, which makes the interlopers realize that they are not "in charge" after all! The DVD can be viewed in English or German, and also with narrative by Werner Herzog, who is very lucky that Klaus stayed around to complete this role. Kudos...
Fitzcarraldo is not just an amazing story. It is an amazing movie making adventure. The screenplay is adventurous but the actual process is even more of an adventure. The artist ( Werner Herzog ) relays to us the maddening risks and tribulations in making the movie but conveys to us really, the mad adventurer inside Herzog. He tells his story so compellingly that to miss on word or to blink one eye, we feel, we may be robbed of a great revelation.
First watch the movie for it's energy and physical beauty. Then watch the movie with Herzog's compelling and memorizing commentary. Fitzcarraldo is considered a foriegn movie so it is difficult to find in most local stores. Ebay is a great avenue to find the "outdated", the "no longer in production", the "I thought I would never see this again", the "remember grandma had one of these", the "I want exactly what I want" store.
This is a great edition of Fitzcarraldo, with both the German and English audio, director commentary, and more.
As far as the film itself, it is one of the most beautiful and impressive independent foreign films ever made. Fitzcarraldo is a tale of determination, devotion, community, adventure, discovery, accomplishment, and the victory of art through industry. Try to find another film like it from a different filmmaker and you have truly accomplished something.
You owe it to yourself to discover Fitzcarraldo!
The person who made the movie did not cut corners so much and one can really get a feel for the atmosphere of that time and location and a feel about the bold and entreprising spirit of the business people of that time.
It was so fantastic and crazy. It was like living a crazed dream. Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic!