Sunday, December 25, 2005

Burden of Dreams

This Critter, "Burden of Dreams", does for "Fitzcarraldo" what "Hearts of Darkness" did for "Apocalypse Now". The film is a feature length making of..And, reading into the title, the challenges of movie making on the grand scale that Herzog is known for.
I had the opportunity to see "Fitzcarraldo" some years ago on the big screen, where I promptly wrote down director and star. I watched a bunch of Kinski films, read his autobiography, and kept my eyes peeled for more Herzog films. Well, Kinski is dead, and Herzog lost his "best fiend", but "Fitzcarraldo" remains fantastic!
This film is the making of "Fitzcarraldo"--the five years of making it. The three boats stranded on sandbars between rainy seasons, the civil wars, paranoia and dysentery. This movie is the only place to see the footage of Mick Jagger, cast as the assistant to the madman originally to be played by Jason Robard.
Herzog himself steals the show with a monologue about the fornication that is nature, the encroaching, bug infested muddy swamp, steaming and malevolent. Five years, his fortune and his sanity all traded for a unique vision that left this viewer with an image forever burned in his brain: a boat being dragged over a mountain!

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