Week Twelve: Burden of Dreams (1982)
Title: Burden of Dreams
Cast- Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Peruvian Indians
What: Les Blanc documents Werner Herzog’s arduous production of Fitzcarraldo, wherein Herzog and hundreds of Peruvian Indians move a 320-ton steamship up and over a mountain.
- Keeping with our films-about-films theme, Burden of Dreams follows one of the most ambitious, treacherous, and tumultuous film productions in recent history, Werner Herzog’s 1982 epic, Fitzcarraldo.
- Werner Herzog is one of the most prominent and maniacal figures of the New German Cinema movement. Often seeking to film “ecstatic truth” (a deep enigmatic truth in cinema) Herzog has filmed in some of the most inhospitable regions of the world and created some of the most memorable and haunting images in cinema. (e.g The Dancing Chicken, The Dwarf and the Camel, Researchers Listening to Seals Under the Ice )
- Herzog is, to put it simply, absolutely crazy…in the best possible sense of the word. Some highlights of his career include throwing himself into a cactus patch as a means of apology to the cast of his film Even Dwarfs Started Small (a cast member had been accidentally burned and run over by a van during production), In 2006 he pulled Joaquin Phoenix out of a car wreck after Phoenix had accidentally flipped the car near Herzog’s home, only a few days after the incident with Phoenix, during an interview with BBC, Herzog was shot with an air rifle by an unknown gunman, Herzog, unfazed, continued the interview and remarked “It is not a significant bullet.”(you can watch the shooting incident here: Herzog vs. The Lone Gunman)
- Burden of Dreams offers a remarkable glimpse at Herzog’s maniacal filmmaking style and the monumental set of challenges and set-backs he faced during the production of Fitzcarraldo. Below is the trailer. Enjoy!