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  • Burden of Dreams:Making Fitzcarraldo [VHS]
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Burden of Dreams:Making Fitzcarraldo [VHS]


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Product Details

  • Actors: Werner Herzog, Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Mick Jagger
  • Directors: Les Blank
  • Writers: Michael Goodwin
  • Producers: Les Blank, David R. Loxton, Kathy Kline
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, German, Spanish
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Flowers, Films & Vid
  • VHS Release Date: May 12, 1992
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6302449227
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,802 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

It is a documentary detailing the madness Werner Herzog went through in making his film Fitzcarraldo in the jungle.

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Anita on July 19, 2001
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Or maybe it will sink its teeth into you. The most compelling dreams are not neat and tidy and are not easy to understand, not even by the person who has and fulfills the dream. That's the case with Werner Herzog's dream of filming the story of Fitzcarraldo. If you liked that movie, this documentary is a must-see, a fascinating look at all the problems Herzog had during the making of the movie. The film is not just about the obvious difficulty of moving the steamship over a mountain in the middle of a jungle. First, there are problems with local Indians that cannot be resolved and so the first location must be abandoned. At the new location, with 40% of filming complete, the star of the movie Jason Robarbs becomes sick and goes home to recover. His doctor forbids him to return. Then Mick Jagger drops out because he can't stay the extra months needed to reshoot the film. (I was disappointed that there was only a minute or two of footage showing Robarbs and Jagger).
Back in Germany, Herzog's investors ask him, Do you have the strength or the will or the enthusiasm to continue? He replies, "How can you ask this question? If I abandon this project, I would be a man without dreams. And I don't want to live like that." Filming continues and there is one more delay and problem after another. Herzog has three ships so he can shoot at different locations and two of them run aground, due to low river levels and the driest season in years. The film does a good job of showing both Herzog's reactions to these problems and his determination to continue in spite of huge financial and personal costs.
Most of my criticisms have to do with the limitation of films generally, namely that I wanted to know alot more about this story.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Philip Brubaker on January 13, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Fans of Apocalypse Now or Hearts of Darkness should check this out. It is a documentary detailing the madness Werner Herzog went through in making his film Fitzcarraldo in the jungle. This movie is great because it shows how Herzog's struggles in making his movie parallel those endured by the main character in Fitzcarraldo. Both figures attempt to drag a huge riverboat literally over a mountain in the middle of the Amazon. If you enjoy behind the scenes documentaries or believe in man's obsessive nature, you should see this.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By David Brower on June 9, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
One of Les Blank's best documentaries, requiring almost as much from him as from Herzog and old Fitzgerald. A fascinating reflection on art, artifice and reality. The most mesmerizing scene to me is a monologue Herzog stages about the obscenity of the jungle.
Not 5 stars because Blank and his crew had a moment of sanity and left before Werner called in the bulldozer to finally haul the boat over the hill. we're left without the dramatic sense of completion we'd been aiming for. We get it only by proxy and narration, without the satisfaction we want. This is anti-climactic, and maybe thematically correct, but you still sort of wish Les had hung in there the whole way.
In a lot of ways, Fitzcaraldo was the end of Herzog's maddening career, and also the end of a certain kind of expansive cinema. Brat Pack movies were soon to follow.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marie L. Southwick on May 18, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Canby: "Remarkable...one of the most candid, most fascinating portraits ever made of a motion picture director at work...There's never been anything like it.

Blowen: "One of the most exquisitely detailed, dramatically compelling films ever made about the creative process."
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