German filmmaker Werner Herzog has never done anything by halves. When Herzog tackled Fitzcarraldo, the story of an obsessed impresario (Klaus Kinski) whose foremost desire in life is to bring both Enrico Caruso and an opera house to the deepest jungles of South America, the director boldly embarked on the same journey, disdaining studios, process shots, and special effects throughout. The highlight of the story is Fizcarraldo's Herculean effort to haul a 300-plus ton steamship over the mountains. No trickery was used in filming this grueling sequence, and stories still persist of disgruntled South American film technicians awaiting the opportunity to strangle Herzog if he ever sets foot on their land again. In the end, Herzog proved to be as driven and single-purposed as his protagonist, and it is the audience's knowledge of this that adds to the excitement of Fitzcarraldo. … More
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Critic Reviews for Fitzcarraldo
The film may have been intended as an ironic comment on the absurdity of human ambition, but it's an irony that explodes in Herzog's face.
As a document of a quest and a dream, and as the record of man's audacity and foolish, visionary heroism, there has never been another movie like it.
It's a stunning spectacle, an adventure-comedy not quite like any other, and the most benign movie ever made about 19th-century capitalism running amok.
Herzog's film confirms that dreamers and their obsessions can give us otherwise unimaginable moments of pure beauty.
A abordagem de imersão adotada por Herzog, somada à performance intensa de Kinski, resulta numa experiência única e inesquecível.
Awesome, hypnotic storytelling, Fitzcarraldo finds this director working in top form
If you have a dream, the only way to accomplish it is to face it head on. If your dream requires you to drag a massive boat up a mountainside, do it. So says director Werner Herzog in the bizarre but captivating Fitzcarraldo.
If there's a point to this, it's what Herzog's point always is: That obsession can drive you nuts. I'm not sure I needed a freaky German traipsing through the jungle for 2 1/2 hours to drive that point home.
Fitzcarraldo is a more objective record of a comparable fever dream, and as such is the preeminent testament of Herzog's labor as a filmmaker.
There's some pretty staggering stuff here.
A mesmerizing and engaging work of art about the adventures of a wild-eyed Irish dreamer in the exotic jungle world of the upper Amazon.
Audience Reviews for Fitzcarraldo
This is art. This is visual lyric poetry. This is a portrait of desire, obsession, passion at its best.
Barry Fitzgerald, who goes by Fitzcarraldo, is a would be rubber baron determined to bring high culture to Peru by building an opera house in the middle of the jungle, even if it means the potentially suicidal task of hauling a massive steamship over a mountain. Despite the danger, he will not stop, as his obsession is something that seemingly cannot be sated. What really makes the film captivating is how Herzog's determination to make the film using real people, no models, and a full scale real ship mirrors that of the character. This just might be the most amazing portrait of ambition ever.
This is not a flawless or perfect film though. It is maybe just too long, too meandering at times, but even then, there is no denying that this film exists on a plane all its own. There are no directors that can be compared to Herzog. Terrence Malick, maybe. But even then, Herzog is truly one of a kind. Kinski is brilliant- a little more restrained than I anticipated, but still very driven and determined to make his dreams come true nonetheless.
It's a pity films are not, and will not ever be made like this again, but one could only hope that, even if they can't reach the same level as Herzog, they could still try.
This film is exhausting to watch due to it's immense scale. Herzog, much like the character that Kinski portrays, must have been absolutely mad when creating a film of this magnitude. While it is not the most exciting film to watch, it is certainly worth the experience. Heck, when is a Herzog/Kinski collaboration not worth your time?More
I'm in awe of the amount of time and effort that it must have taken to make this film possible. It is man against nature on the grandest of scales. A contrast of lace and mud. Fitzcarraldo is a study of the line between modern society and the last outposts of frontier. The story of a man who dreams of bringing opera to the jungles of South America. I'm not sure if I understand director Werner Herzog's motivation but I certainly admire his stamina.More
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