REVIEWED
1/19/03

STORY



LOOK

Fitzcarraldo
Director: Werner Herzog
Year: 1982
TRT: 2:37


Okay, this German movie is a bit slow, but fascinating to watch as the title character Fitzcarraldo attempts to bring the opera to a small village in Peru at the turn of the 20th century. His vision is a bit mad, and the rubber barons that have located themselves there treat him as such after his failing to build a railway system. But he is determined, and eventually gets the capital to buy a steamboat and some practically unreachable land to harvest his own rubber and thus finance the building of his dream, bringing the culture and emotion of the opera to this untamed portion of the world.

Klaus Kinski plays the title role, and does a great job as the tormented visionary. What they go through is amazing, considering the fact that they did indeed actually drag a steamboat over a mountain. There's some great location shots (and some not so good), but overall this is a pretty mixed bag, definitely not for the casual viewer. As mentioned, the pacing is kinda slow, and it is a bit difficult to get caught up in this madman's quest. But it's pretty interesting to watch, and if you like opera, you may enjoy it that much more (me, I'm a Zeppelin and Ministry kinda guy, so this portion of it held little interest to me). So this is the kind of movie you may catch on a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon when there's nothing else much to do.

Great Scene: En route to his destination, Fitzcarraldo stops by the location of his failed railway to pick up some rails and equipment to help him later. He is greeted by the engineer who still thinks something will become of it, and had been keeping up the site for 5 years, no one ever having told him that the project was dead.

DVD Notes: Anchor Bay put this out with commentary by Herzog and producer, a stills gallery, and talent bios with a decent brief history on the film as well as info on Herzog & Kinski. There is the option of english audio as well.