Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski), better known as Fitzcarraldo, wants to build the world’s largest opera house in the middle of the Amazon jungle. But to fund it, the entrepreneur will have to venture deep into the wilderness and the unknown…
How else could we end our epic Herzog series except here, on Klaus Kinski’s ultimate ecstasy? One of cinema’s most insane undertakings—the crew literally had to drag a steamboat up a mountain—Herzog’s crowning masterwork is a sweeping ode to mankind’s quest to leave a footprint on an infinite world.
Watching this film several times on mubi, I've realized that the oddly potent and buoyant ending of this film is one of the greatest endings to any of Herzog's films. It always makes my heart leap when the music plays. Yes, perfection.
Pretty danged epic.
This had been hyped up to me for years and years, so I had some pretty outrageous expectations going in. And - fortunately - they all held up. I really enjoyed the scope of this. But more than that, I enjoyed what the achievement itself did to the character. That was the true journey in my book. And I enjoyed it quite fully.
Herzog is a fine cynic. His observations about humankind's stridency have much more heart and soul than this film about the size of one's vision and a quest for satisfaction. Long-winded and winding, Fitzcarraldo, doesn't often move around emotions or create characters that you admire/root for/hate. I wish Herzog was sympathetic to, or spited, Kinski's character, instead of having a detached observation from.
Essential cinema. This legendary production was a tale of obsession, madness and exploitation on both sides of the camera. Herzog's madness/folly has been well documented as has the antics of Klaus Kinski on this production but it still resulted in classic cinema that is epic in scope and breathtaking in execution. ' The proof is ...that I saw it with my own eyes...'
The irony of Herzog's cinematic vision is inescapable given the film's inspiration. He's certainly not ignorant to the legacy of exploitation in this region, so why does he so casually disregard the native population and the natural beauty of the Amazon? Herzog even referred to himself as the "Conquistador of the Useless" in reference to the film. Despite its warts, I still find Kinski endlessly fascinating.
A titanically ambitious production moved by the passion of a director for film as an analogy of that of Fitzarraldo's for opera. I give you that. A record playing Caruso on a boat along the Amazonas is unforgettable, but the excessively objetive style of Herzog keeps me from connecting with the characters, from making their obsession my own. At all times this film makes me feel like an observer, it never lets me in.