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Fitzcarraldo

Director: Werner Herzog

WEST GERMANY| 1981. COLOUR. ENGLISH VERSION. 157 MIN.


One of Herzog’s most ambitious but disaster-prone projects, ‘Fitzcarraldo’ saw the director return to the Amazon jungle for another story of an obsessive adventurer driven to extremes. Jason Robards was originally cast to play the lead, but it’s difficult to imagine anyone more qualified than his replacement, wild man Klaus Kinski. It might seem like a rerun of ‘Aguirre’, and in one respect ‘Fitzcarraldo’ even surpasses that film, with the central character’s mad scheme to build an opera house in the rain forests of 19th-century Latin America being matched by Herzog’s decision to film on location and having a large boat hauled over a mountain for real. Yet the two films are very different in tone and meaning. Unlike Aguirre, Fitzcarraldo is no maniacal seeker of power but a somewhat innocent dreamer who just wants to bring opera to the jungle.

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