That’s right we are moving the ship over the mountain with Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (and by extension Burden of Dreams) Forrest Miller, Conan Neutron, J. Andrew World, and Kristina Oakes are joined by Billy Gould of Faith No More to talk about this crazy Herzog cinematic achievement of practical effects and determination.
We’d also like to welcome our sponsor Yebiga Rakija! A delicious balkan plum wine that is perfect for sitting back and watching madmen attempt to achieve their dreams.
A singular work of art about the power of a dream, no matter how absurd it seems to others. It’s a movie that celebrates that art, and the intense desire and insanity that comes with having a vision to make that vision, or that dream, come true. He wants to build an opera house in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon as the ultimate destination location. The goal to get there is rubber. As it takes place when the great rubber exploitation of South America was in full swing.
The rubber barons (or robber barons) all embody this kind of mercenary and heartless horror. But not Fitzcarraldo, he’s just really into Caruso and wants people to be able to hear it in the jungle. Including an opera box for the pig. At one point one of the jerk big money guys throws a wad of cash into a fish pond, where is is mistaken for food and greedily eaten by one of the fish. This is high entertainment for this dude.
An excellent offbeat tale that is all practical effects, including the boat going over the mountain. Epic adventure! And something that has not, and should not be emulated or repeated.
We examined the many movies set in jungle vs. misadventures of trying to make a movie in the jungle. (Apocalypse Now vs. Hearts of Darkness is an obvious example.) A concept that was successfully lampooned in Tropic Thunder.
Klaus Kinski is terrifying, frenetic, and magnetic here. The singular obsession he has with getting his Opera House that he can bring Caruso to is mirrored in Werner Herzog’s obsession with finishing this film. We talk about how different it would have been to have Jason Robards in the role. Who wasn’t just cast, but filmed a large portion of the movie before contracting dysentery and having to drop off. Yes, dysentery. Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones was to be his slow adult sidekick as well, before he dropped off and the part was written out.
Yet somehow all of that is not as crazy as the thought of the lovely Claudia Cardinale being so into the scarily goofy looking (and terrifying human being) Klaus Kinski. Ah, love! She is the only one that not just believes in his crazy dream but is willing to help fund it.
Now, the real astounding thing about this excellent offbeat tale is how much this is done with practical effects. Including the iconic scene with the boat. There is a documentary about all the absurd stuff that happened in the course of this movie. It is loosely based on a real story, but the real guy was horrible, so this movie about an off kilter dreamer is way cooler.
One of the great actualized magisterial and triumphalist visions of cinema, that is also tied for forever with the crazy tale of the film actually being made.
You will believe a boat will go over a mountain!
Why? Because it actually does.
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Forrest, J. Andrew World, Conan Neutron and Kristina Oakes are joined by bassist Billy Gould of Faith No More #faithnomore to talk about Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo #fitzcarraldo #wernerherzog #mickjagger #rollingstones #klauskinski #peru #peruvianhouse #oscarnominations #oscars #billygould #faithnomore #epic
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We are also now going to be sponsored by Yebiga, a Traditional Balkan Rakija, Serbian Plum Brandy. Go to Yebiga.com to see where it’s available near you.