Doesn't the title of the list explain it well enough? This is a list of 200+ quality "short" films. Easy…
Burden of Dreams
For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made more perilous by Herzog’s determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of native Indians to pull a full-size, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. The result is an extraordinary document of the filmmaking process and a unique look into the single-minded mission of one of cinema’s most fearless directors.
This documentary makes a fabulicious companion piece to follow your viewing of the Werner Herzog's film Fitzcarraldo!
Fitzcarraldo is based on a true story where an Irishman takes apart a 30 ton ship and reassembles it at the other tributary! But in the film Fitzcarraldo Herzog decides the ship will be a 200 ton ship and instead of taking it apart it will be pulled up and over the steep hill to the other side! An overly ambitious undertaking that would suck everyone into a dark abyss of anguish and frustration!
What this director, crew and actors went through to complete this film is far more amazing than what took place in the actual film! The fact he felt risking…
In the teeth of a lousy bout of writer's block, it's a blessing to watch someone I admire as much as Werner Herzog saying he's "running out of fantasy". What a great term for the stalling of the imagination - good enough to be swiped for the title of a track on the Manic Street Preachers' 2013 album Rewind the Film.
One of the most quotable documentaries ever, Burden of Dreams sees Herzog in the Amazon rainforest, trying to complete his film Fitzcarraldo. Directed by Herzog's friend and fellow director Les Blank, it largely avoids sensationalism - the famous clip from Herzog's later documentary My Best Fiend of Klaus Kinski screaming out producer Walter Saxer does not appear, despite being…
"I love it, but I love it against my better judgement".
It's difficult to review this objectively, separate from what I consider to be the greatest film ever made, but I might watch FITZCARRALDO soon so I'll save it. The lovely thing is that BURDEN OF DREAMS stands alone as a great documentary and a perfect companion to its subject. It can be watched before (even though it has "spoilers" I endorse doing this, I saw MY BEST FIEND before FITZCARRALDO and the background information made me appreciate the film much more) or alone. It tells a story by itself, focused on a man willing to risk his life for a metaphor and the disappearing native Amazon people that helped…
I have the greatest respect and admiration for both the man and the filmmaker Werner Herzog. Just as Fitzgerald, Herzog goes unheard lengths to complete his vision, not matter what. To pull a 320-ton steamer up and over a hill is no joke , it's not film tricks, it's not special effects. Herzog actually did it, risking both the entire production and lives, to complete his dream without compromising. The creative and uncompromising madness of Herzog is reflected in the ambitious maniac in Fitzgerald, and vice versa.
Watching Fitzcarraldo and the documentary Burden of Dreams back-to-back is one of the most rewarding film experiences you can ever have. The story of Herzog is in many ways better than the movie…
A really fascinating film depicting the troubled making of Fitzcarraldo. It just goes to show that you should always persevere with a dream or a vision through adversity. It also compares favourably to Hearts of Darkness as a documentary that highlights how tough film making can be and stands as one of the best films about the making of a film that has ever been made!
I liked Fitzcaraldo a lot, but the story behind it is more interesting. And the filming of the ship going through the rapids was more exciting here than its depiction in the movie.
Honestly, I wish there were more movies with Werner Herzog on the other side of the camera. He makes a most compelling subject. Even when he is on the verge of self-parody I could listen to him go on about how nature is horrible and the birds are screaming in pain.
"It's not only my dreams - my belief is that all these dreams are yours as well, and the only distinction between me and you is that I can articulate them. That is what poetry or painting or literature or filmmaking is all about, it's as simple as that. And I, I make films because I have not learned anything else and I know I can do it to a certain degree, and it is my duty because this might be the inner chronicle of what we are. We have to articulate ourselves otherwise we would be cows in the field."
Les Blank's eminently quotably documentary about the making of Fitzcarraldo is absolutely breathtaking. It's a treatise on art, an…
Among the very best "Making Of" documentaries. Obsession, frustration, danger, and isolation combine to create an increasingly volatile environment. I always keep Herzog's rant against the jungle in mind when looking at Herzog's profound-sounding narration in other movies; he could easily just be going off the rails again. And it's interesting to see Kinski stepping in as caretaker, cleaning up after Herzog.
One of the better behind the scenes documentaries on filmmaking, Burden of Dreams follows Werner Herzog on the creation of his masterpiece, Fitzcarraldo.
Look for Ep 40 of the Culture Overdose Podcast on iTunes for a full Review.
"Of course we are challenging nature itself. And it hits back. It just hits back that's all. That's grandiose about it and we have to accept that it's much stronger than we are. Kinski always says its full of 'erotic elements.' I don't see it so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It's just... Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotical here. I see fornication, asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and just rotting away. Of course there is a lot of misery, but it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing. They just screech in pain."
- Werner Herzog
I love Fitzcarraldo. It was my introduction to Herzog, my first foray into a new way of dealing with and creating cinematic space and time. And then I watched Burden of Dreams. In some ways, this is almost more essential than the actual film Fitzcarraldo. Separate, yet, inseparable. Neither film is completely dependent on the other to survive, but neither film can reach the heights apart as easily as they can together. Everything about the Herzog persona is perfectly encapsulated and defined for posterity. Not so much a behind-the-scenes as a contextualization of the world from which the finished Fitzcarraldo emerges.
Herzog is a mad man and I love him.
Much respect to the always eloquent, determined Werner Herzog.
He visto seguidos “A heart of darkness, a filmmaker’s apocalypse” (1991) y “Burden of dreams” (Les Blank, 1982); dos documentales que muestran el making of de Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola) y Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog) respectivamente, dos películas que hablan del viaje homérico de un hombre por la selva; un viaje terrible, difícil, larguísimo, maravilloso.
Los directores son esos personajes también. Ellos, como sus protagonistas, se embarcan selva adentro, contra todo mal pronóstico, critica, falta de productores y de presupuesto, actores que abandonan a mitad de rodaje, clima que destruye sets enteros; cuesta y corriente arriba. “Si abandono este proyecto sería un hombre sin sueños, y no quiero vivir así, Yo vivo mi vida o la termino con este proyecto”,…
While there's some jaw-dropping stuff here, and it's always a pleasure to see Herzog onscreen - even if he is desperately unhappy - this didn't quite live up to its reputation for me. While it's clear that Herzog went way past the level of most normal human beings in the creation of Fitzcarraldo, I feel like the film itself does such a good job of displaying the utter madness involved with the production that much of this making-of is redundant. Herzog's documentary-like approach to his fiction films mean that there's no smoke and mirrors - his tricks are completely on display anyway, so there's less to reveal than there would be for most filmmakers.
That said, it's still impressive to…
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Grave of the Fireflies
- Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen
- For All Mankind
- Grand Illusion
- Seven Samurai
- The Lady Vanishes
- The 400 Blows
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 168/753
- Grand Illusion
- Seven Samurai
- The Lady Vanishes
- Crook's Tour
UPDATED: December 10, 2014
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…