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Aguirre: The Wrath of God


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Links to The Enigma of Kasper Hauser(1974), Stroszek (1977), Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht / Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979), Fitzcarraldo and Burden of Dreams (1982, Herzog and 1982, Les Blank doc on Fitzcarraldo),

The White Diamond (2004), Grizzly Man (2005), Encounters at the End of the World (2007), and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans (2009).

Still loving all this exploring of the older Herzog works.

Netflix summary:

In the mid-16th century, after annihilating the Incan empire, Gonzalo Pizarro leads his army of conquistadors over the Andes in search of the fabled City of Gold, El Dorado. As Pizarro's soldiers battle starvation, Indians, and the forces of nature and each other, Don Lope de Aguirre (Klaus Kinski), "The Wrath of God," is consumed with visions of conquering all South America and leads his own army on a doomed quest into oblivion.

In the commentary Herzog claims the film was made in 1971. IMDB shows the original release date in December, 1972. The film wasn't released in the U.S. until 1977. The year is important, too -- I saw it for the first time last night, and didn't realize I was looking at something created in front of Fitzcarraldo by eleven years. I figured the two films went together. But realizing both of the Bruno S. films and Nosferatu are lodged in between Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo, it seems the only things they have in common are their hugeness and defiance against the odds of nature slaying the film, and Klaus Kinski being his usual petulant self.

There are great moments in Aguirre: The Wrath of God. Of course Kinski is awesome, so fun to watch in his first role with Herzog. He was as crazed in acting, and in general, too, as he was in any of the following films. But little pieces sewn together, even in the way some of the men died and the monkeys at the end, make it an incredible film even forty years after it was made. It wasn't as exciting while watching as some of the others, but to think I'd give it anything less than five Netflix stars would seem a crime.

As I'm finding with a lot of the older Herzog movies, there's more to appreciate when you listen to the commentary. I'm about half way through the commentary and I'm going to watch and listen to the end. Listening to the commentary and watching Kinski has me looking forward to My Best Fiend, which I think I'll explore very soon.

IMDB has a page of great Trivia on Aguirre: The Wrath of God.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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I have never written these three initials on A&F -- maybe anywhere -- but -- WTF?

Like we need more 3D. Like we need Herzog in 3D. Yuck Yuck Yuck Yuck Yuck.

Yuck.

You get it? I hate this idea.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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All I know is if you don't see In A Better World, I will personally track you down and pluck out an arm hair.

I am not kidding.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 6 months later...

I have yet to see this, but it has shown up in my Netflix Recommendations list. The reasons are as follows:

Recommended based on your interest in: Fargo, and The Big Lebowski.

Not usually the first films that come to mind when I have a desire to watch some Herzog, or Herzog-like entertainment. Am I missing something?

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude
 

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I don't understand why people love this film so much. Thank goodness it's only 94 minutes long. Then again I didn't like Toyko Story either.

I probably shouldn't watched it on the same night as Eat, Pray, Love.

Herzog lovers defend yourselves!

When you think of Herzog films, you end up thinking of Herzog himself, and what he's done over the years is as amazing as what he's said he's done. (He tends to exaggerate.) The lengths he's gone to in his passion to make the perfect film are as amazing as anything he's actually made. Firzcarraldo is the prime example here, but certainly Aguirre fits in that framework as well.

That said, you may have trouble getting a defense from those who love him because they've been over it many many times here at A&F. I'd say do some searching on a few other threads, in particular, probably This One, where you'll see I was just as baffled six years ago. It has taken effort for me to come around on Herzog, but fortunately he's made so many films that attempting three or four get you in the ball park, and after five or six (or seven or eight) you're most likely sold.

I have yet to see this, but it has shown up in my Netflix Recommendations list. The reasons are as follows:

Recommended based on your interest in: Fargo, and The Big Lebowski.

Not usually the first films that come to mind when I have a desire to watch some Herzog, or Herzog-like entertainment. Am I missing something?

That reminds me of some friends that began a thread like this years ago on a different site. Netflix is mostly "miss" when it attempts this -- sometimes astronomically so.

Herzog lovers defend yourselves!

Ebert speaks for me on this film: http://tinyurl.com/52vjx

I've actually read that review quite a few times. I love it. He speaks for many.

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Here's a quote from Ebert's review that expounds on what I was attempting to get at and might help more in coming to terms with Aguirre:

The filming of “Aguirre'' is a legend in film circles. Herzog, a German director who speaks of the “voodoo of location,'' took his actors and crew into a remote jungle district where fever was frequent and starvation seemed like a possibility. It is said Herzog held a gun on Kinski to force him to continue acting, although Kinski, in his autobiography, denies this, adding darkly that he had the only gun. The actors, crew members and cameras were all actually on rafts like those we see, and often, Herzog told me, “I did not know the dialogue 10 minutes before we shot a scene.''

The film is not driven by dialogue, anyway, or even by the characters, except for Aguirre, whose personality is created as much by Kinski's face and body as by words. What Herzog sees in the story, I think, is what he finds in many of his films: Men haunted by a vision of great achievement, who commit the sin of pride by daring to reach for it, and are crushed by an implacable universe.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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Deb - I would say it's worth giving Herzog another try. I've only seen a handful of his films - White Diamond, Grizzly Man, Encounters at the End of the World, Rescue Dawn, and Little Dieter Needs to Fly - but they've all been highly memorable, fascinating looks at driven, passionate, idiosyncratic characters.

To be an artist is never to avert one's eyes.
- Akira Kurosawa

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/

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