|Herzog's Fitzcarraldo was a nightmare to make.|
Directed by Les Blank
Produced by Les Blank
Written by Michael Goodwin (narration)
Starring Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale
Plot Summary: Werner Herzog struggles to make Fitzcarraldo in the unforgiving South American jungle.
Significance: Generally regarded as one of the best documentaries ever made, the film won the Flaherty Documentary Award at the BAFTAs, and it was nominated by the American Cinema Editors guild for achievement in documentary editing. In 1999, the film was preserved in the Academy Film Archive.
Thoughts: Based on the events depicted in Blank’s documentary, the fact that Fitzcarraldo (a better film) even exists is a small miracle. The delays and complications Herzog and the crew faced propel the film’s narrative, as one disaster after another pushes production onward amidst a grueling, extended timeline - almost five years of production, no less. Blank uses a few interviews and behind-the-scenes footage to tell most of the story, but his frustration seems to have caused him to give up on an even better documentary. Fortunately, Herzog has the stamina to stay the course and give Blank some great footage. Overall, it’s an interesting look at how a classic film managed to survive an enormously difficult production.
This is the tenth film in my 2016 Blind Spot Series, as first started by Ryan McNeil.
Definitely one of the finest docs ever made as I just love the craziness of what was going on making that film. It proved that Werner Herzog has balls. Have you ever seen the clip of Klaus Kinski going ape-shit on a crew member? It didn't make it to the final cut of the doc but it is in the My Best Fiend doc by Herzog about his collaboration with Kinski.ReplyDelete
I wish Blank had gone to greater lengths to show that craziness, like the clip you mentioned. Haven't seen it, but maybe I'll check out that doc.Delete
While I'd never say it was one of the best documentaries ever it was an involving look at ambition, drive and a touch of lunacy.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I can see why it's held in high esteem, but I don't completely agree with it.Delete
I almost watched this when I was working on the Fistis that year...but I wound up skipping it. I want to see it one day. Sounds worth the gander, even if it could have been better.ReplyDelete
Definitely worth a look. I don't think it'd make my ballot anywhere.Delete
Don’t think I saw this one yet. The making of Fitzcarraldo is intriguing. One of the great moments in cinema when the boat is pulled in the jungle heat.ReplyDelete
I'd call it a must-watch, even if I didn't love it as much as others.Delete