Fitzcarraldo (1982) 4.72/5 (5)


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Rating: The Good – 89.7
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Duration: 158 mins
Director: Werner Herzog
Stars: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy

Werner Herzog’s masterwork is a stunning achievement both in terms of the logistics involved in making it (it was shot on location in some of the roughest terrain and on actual river rapids and yes, they actually did drag a boat over a mountain!) and the statement on mankind it becomes. The typically brilliant yet unpredictable Klaus Kinski headlines as Fitzcarraldo, an opera worshipping and eccentric businessman who attempts to exploit an inaccessible resource of rubber trees by dragging a steam ship over a small mountain to a parallel river. Driven not by monetary greed exactly, he is more concerned with doing something monumental and beautiful for the jungle which he loves in his own strange manner. The way in which he ultimately might go about building his monument takes many twists and turns and requires severe shifts in perspective but that is the ultimate point of this extraordinary film as his and the audiences’ perspective slowly become one. This is cinema at its most invigorating as Kinski and Herzog combine yet again in an artistic marathon. The former is electric as the white suited, blonde adventurer while Herzog frames it all in a way only he can as he brings both the jungle and story to life in equally impressive measures.

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