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.
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.
Dejaré que Herzog, esta vez, hable por mi. Nadie mejor para hacerlo. En su diario de filmación de Fitzcarraldo, "Conquista de lo Inúitl", escribe: "Miré a mi alrededor, y en el mismo odio en ebullición se encontraba, furiosa y humeante, la selva, mientras que el río, con majestuosa indiferencia y sarcástico desdén, todo lo minimizaba: las fatigas de los hombres, la carga de los sueños y los suplicios del tiempo."
Another tale of men with impossible dreams in nature, Herzog's favorite theme, and of course making of the film was something impossible made possible too. By watching this I've realized how great Herzog really is, and I think he's one of my favorite film makers now. This is a masterpiece.