1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Wiki


#713. Fitzcarraldo

  • Year: 1982
  • Country: West Germany/Peru
  • Language: English/German
  • Production: Autoren, Wildlife, ZDF, 158m
  • Director: Werner Herzog
  • Producer: Werner Herzog, Lucki Stipetić
  • Screenplay: Werner Herzog
  • Photography: Thomas Mauch
  • Music: Popol Vuh
  • Cast: Klaud Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy, Miguel Ángel Fuentes, Paul Hittscher, Huerequeque Enrique Bohórquez
  • Cannes Film Festival: Best Director, Golden Palm Nomination

Abridged Book Description

It is difficult to address Fitzcarraldo without first delving into the obsessive bent of its director Werner Herzog as well as his confounding collaboration with frequent (and frequently inscrutable) star Klaus Kinski. Their working relationship was predicated on mutual antagonism and outright aggression tempered by a mutual admiration, and that contradiction regularly manifested itself in their confrontational efforts... Fittingly, or perhaps typically, making a film depicting such a near-impossible feat encumbered by almost insurmountable obstacles indeed turned out to be an ordeal itself. It didn't help that Herzog approached the project with every bit the stubborn madness of his titular character... As the steamboat is dragged uphill, against all odds, Kinski's Fitzcarraldo stands on the top deck, beaming, as his Victrola blasts opera singer Enrico Caruso. It's a sight as surreal as it is inspiring, simultaneously announcing an accomplishment that is both dramatic (in terms of the narrative) and impressively tactile (in terms of filmmaking).