Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, better known as Fitzcarraldo, wants to build the largest opera house that ever existed, in Iquitos, in the middle of Amazonia. To inaugurate the theater, he plans to invite Caruso, a tenor he heard perform in a production of Ernani in Manaus. With the help of his wife Molly, he seeks sources of funding. Along the way, he realizes that the only way to earn enough money would be to exploit the rubber trees. However, Fitzcarraldo devises a plan: to navigate the unexplored Pachitea River, which runs parallel to the Ucayali. According to the maps he has consulted, the two rivers nearly touch at a certain point, separated by a single mountain. He has a boat restored and calls it the “Molly Aida”, sets off on his journey and manages to intrigue the locals. Indeed, the locals help him climb over the mountain with his boat, to avoid the rapids and then navigate downstream towards the rubber trees. In the end, though, Fitzcarraldo does not succeed in building his opera house; instead, he converts his boat into a stage, brings in many singers and musicians, and puts on a show that is finer than any the Amazon rainforest had ever seen before. —Thessaloniki International Film Festival
One of the most influential filmmakers in New German Cinema and one of the most extreme personalities in film, Werner Herzog quickly gained recognition not only for creating some of the most fantastic narratives in the Film history, but for pushing himself and his crew to absurd and unprecedented lengths, again and again, in order to achieve the effects he demanded. Born Werner Stipetic in Munich on September 5, 1942, Herzog came of age in Sachrang, Bavaria, amid extreme poverty and destitution. After Herzog turned seventeen, a German film producer optioned one of his screenplays, then promptly destroyed the contract when he discovered the author’s age. Circa 1962, 20-year-old Herzog enrolled in the University of Munich as a history and literature student, and produced his first motion picture, the twelve minute Herakles, his second short Game in the Sand, and his third, the pacifist tract The Unprecedented Defense of Fortress Deutschkreuz.In 1963, he established his own production… read more
"It's only the dreamers who ever move mountains." Jaggedly brilliant and obscurely magnificent. This is a film about faith in idea. Beyond the farthest stretches of the imagination; an umbrella floats down the river. Fitzcarraldo is an ode to the power of music and a mad masterpiece of faith, image, movement and caricature.
There will never be another movie like this one, you could say the story behind it is even more interesting. Kinski and Herzog are in top form, and seeing that boat being dragged in the middle of the jungle is something you would never see in any movie today.
David Lynch is releasing a new album, Lars von Trier is a “digressionist”, Cardboard Herzog, Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice & more.
Also: The NYT Magazine Hollywood Issue. Lists and interviews.
A manic no-budget special effects comedy that achieves a certain cockeyed charm.
Kinski died at the age of 65 on November 23, 1991. Heart attack in California. His ashes were scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
Ramin Bahrani speaks clearly and assertively. He knows what he wants; even more admirably, he seems to know exactly why he wants it. He can
I just saw ‘Fitzcarraldo’ this week for the first time, and was absolutely captivated by it. I think it’s most reedemable quality is the fact that it’s very subtle and authentic, yet more epic than… read review
Epic in scope and undoubtedly slow (it didn’t bother me one bit, but I can see where people come from saying this), Fitzcarraldo explores man’s foolish attempts at heroic feats. The sheer simplistic… read review