Saturday, February 11, 2017

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

A West German adventure written, directed and produced by Werner Herzog, starring Klaus Kinski.
A business man who loves opera has a plan to transport a steam ship over a mountain between two rivers in order to access rubber trees that were previously blocked.
This was weirder than it needed to be. The plot was eventful and held my attention very well. The characters were somewhat deep and very likeable. Video is where the oddity begins. Among the straight forward storytelling, we have long, artsy shots at strange times. Views of the mountainside, skies and closeups of ropes on the ship demonstrated what was going on, but were held for longer than necessary. That could be said for almost any shot in the film. The drunken cook lets his glass slide down the tilted table more times than are necessary to get the point across. They did actually drag a ship up a hill. I was wondering while watching if it was miniatures or a trick, but it was real. The audio featured only diegetic music. This lead to some eerily silent scenes that increased tension. Some of these when the native tribe is gathering around the ship worked out very well. Overall, another triumph for Herzog and Kinski. I rate this good.

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