High-rated movies with very few views. Suggestions are welcome.
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…
They say you have to be a little crazy to create good art. Well, Herzog is a complete madman.
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…
Herzog is my favourite person in the whole world
If you think the bozo who snuck a camera into Disney Land was a maverick: watch this film. Herzog is a real maverick. He might be the biggest badass in the history of cinema.
This was a great documentary, a beautiful insight into the trials and tribulations of Werner Herzog and the dreams he carries. Just when I thought the technical aspect was infinitely complex from Fitzcarraldo it got even more intricate. Although this was an enjoyable film, I can't agree with the people that say it is better than Fitzcarraldo itself. Almost every review I have seen speaks of how the documentary surpassed the actual film and I just straight up disagree.
Documentary about the making of “Fitzcarraldo”. This was a hugely troubled film, where at points you start to wonder if it was ever intended to be made. Yet Herzog is so intent on making it, he bypasses all problems, not unlike Fitzcarraldo himself, which is such an interesting added layer. I had heard it before, but I think it really speaks to the movie that the natives offered Herzog to kill Kinski for him….
"The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they - they sing. They just screech in pain."
"It is the harmony of... overwhelming and collective murder."
I watched this for the first time, roughly 24 hours after seeing FITZCARRALDO for the first time, and it really felt like the second half of a brilliant two-parter. While that film is its own complete story, this film is equally as insane and magnificent and is an essential piece of its existence. It also fleshes out the concept of Fitzcarraldo and his quest serving as a metaphor for Herzog. Together, these comprise a staggering work of art.
"The trees here are in misery, and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing, they just screech in pain."
I wanted to give this 5 stars based purely on how Herzog pronounces the word "boat".
Rewatched with the commentary by Les Blank, Maureen Gosling and Werner Herzog.
A bit odd watching a commentary of making of film. It's a slight bit meta to say the least. However, some VERY good insight was given by both the filmmakers as well as Werner himself (recorded separately).
Plus it was recorded some 20 years later, so the benefit of hindsight helped them to really reveal some changing feelings and new outlooks about the film process. WELL WORTH the listen/watch. (available on the Criterion Collection disc).
Perhaps the greatest of all "making-of" documentaries, Les Blank's Burden of Dreams follows Werner Herzog's chaotic and near disastrous production of Fitzcarraldo. Herzog, no stranger to putting himself and his crew in danger, displayed his greatest achievement of lunacy and eccentricity to date with Fitzcarraldo - nothing was going to stop him pulling up a large steamboat up a mountain. The mere thought of such passion is incredulous. But Herzog and his crew did it, and his good friend Les Blank captured the whole production on celluloid.
And to be honest, I do admire the man's passion for the project. Herzog may be weird and eccentric, but I would also call him intelligent. Even himself noting how much mayhem this…
This is what happens when your car breaks down on a Sunday morning and you have nothing else to do…
UPDATED: September 11, 2016
The Criterion Collection is a video distribution company that sells "important classic and contemporary films" in…