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.
"If I abandon this project I would be a man without dreams, and I don't want to live like that."
Someone really missed out on a great opportunity to call this Herzcarraldo. It's amazing how closely the making of Herzog's Fitzcarraldo parallels the actual story within the film itself. The film hit every possible snag in its production, from sets falling apart to cast and crew being attacked by natives. And while this is due in large part to Herzog's insane dedication to verisimilitude, it also needs to be said that the director never asks anyone to do anything he doesn't do himself. The problem is that there's almost nothing Herzog won't do himself. There's a shot in the documentary…
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…
Fitzcarraldo is an extraordinary film. Werner Herzog's customary analysis of madness and obsession is a riveting and audacious work. Les Blanks's documentary, Burden of Dreams is no less gripping.
Blank films Herzog and his cast and crew during the protracted, Sisyphean task of brining his film to the screen. From funding difficulties to losing his main cast, Jason Robards and Mick Jagger (shown in incredible early filmed footage) to recalcitrant crew and extras, Herzog's usual amiable demeanour and that soothing Bavarian lilt mask a man driven beyond all reason. It paints him in both a heroic and a foolish light as he routinely takes the harder option, and it implies that at times people lose there lives as a result…
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!
An insight into Herzog's process whilst making Fitzcarraldo. In many ways the doco is more interesting than the film itself...
Werner and ice cream on a Friday night.
Talvez eu tenha presenciado um milagre.
Is there anything more fascinating to a movie fan than an entire film dedicated to the magic of filmmaking? I don't think so. The number of times I've devoured Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse is comparable to if not surmounting that of my viewings of its actual subject, Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war film, Apocalypse Now. Likewise, I've come to find myself less enthralled with Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo and absolutely head over heels for its making-of documentary, Burden of Dreams. Fitzcarraldo is similar to Herzog's heat-crazed 1972 Aguirre, both being set in treacherous jungle terrain, both being funded by the dollars of the doubtful, and both being fuelled by the dreams of a mad man. At one moment in…
one of the most inspirational things a filmmaker can watch
Fitzcarraldo is about a madman that wants to build an opera house in the jungle, and Burden of Dreams is about a madman that wants to make a movie in the jungle. They're kind of the same movie. Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski's famous love-hate relationship is curiously absent from this making of documentary, which largely focuses on the technical and logistical problems trying to film a ship going over a hill. There's no madman rant better than Herzog's grim philosophizing about the horrific jungle. The disc includes the short film "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe," where he promised Errol Morris he'd eat his shoe if Morris got his first film made.
This is actually a shocking disappointment for me. Les Blank is currently one of my favorite filmmakers and certainly my favorite documentarian. Part of what makes him such a significant artist, in my eyes, is his ability to capture life in a seemingly unfiltered way. His films allow for audiences to absorb the worlds he presents without interjection on the part of the filmmaker. They are a beautiful experience to behold, some of the best works of documentary (and, frankly, cinema in general). No one is more life-affirming than Blank.
Which is what makes Burden of Dreams such a travesty. Rather than allowing for the audience to take in the madness of the Fitzcarraldo shoot without intervention, Burden of Dreams…
This was a fascinating look at the troubled making of Fitzcarraldo. It's almost amazing how many things went wrong during the production. I always like hearing Herzog's unique view on life, and this was full of that. I look forward to finally watching Fitzcarraldo when I can find it.
While i already knew a good portion of the story beforehand; this thematically mirrored documentary, with insights on Herzog, is a mandatory watch alongside Fitzcarraldo.
"I shouldn't make movies anymore. I should go to a lunatic asylum right away."
Yes, Werner, i'm thinking maybe you should!
The entire Criterion collection organized by spine number.
I don't know why I did this.
Number I've Seen: 196/776 (25%)
UPDATED: September 28, 2015
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…