The story of this film is the story of the making of this film. Almost. Here's an insight into Herzog's legendary obsessive streak.
The Hyderabad Film Club is organising a 5-day retrospective of Werner Herzog films, from 5th to 10th June, at the Sarathi Studios in Ameerpet. Today, the fourth day, Fitzcarraldo will be screened at 6:30pm.
Fitzcarraldo is the story of an obsessive dreamer set in the time of the rubber boom at the turn of the century. The man, in the depths of the Amazon jungle and beset by dangers of all kinds, has visions of presenting a grand opera, with the works of Verdi and a unique performance by Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt.
Stung to the bone by swarms of mosquitoes, parched by the heat and fever, he nevertheless achieves the impossible. Using the labor of hundreds of native Indians, he manages to drag an enormous river boat across a mountain from one river to another so that he is able to open up an immense new rubber area which will provide him with the money necessary to realize his dream.
Werner Herzog (born Werner Stipetic on September 5, 1942) is a critically and internationally acclaimed German film director, screenwriter, actor and opera director. He is often associated with the German New Wave movement (also called New German Cinema), along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Volker Schlöndorff, Wim Wenders and others. His films often feature heroes with impossible dreams or people with unique talents in obscure fields.
Herzog's films have received considerable critical acclaim and achieved popularity on the arthouse circuit. They have also been the subject of controversy in regard to their themes and messages, especially the circumstances surrounding their creation. A notable example is Fitzcarraldo, in which the obsessiveness of the central character is mirrored by the director in the making of his film.
His treatment of subjects has been characterized as Wagnerian in its scope, as Fitzcarraldo and his later film Invincible (2001) are directly inspired by opera or operatic themes. He is proud of never using storyboards and often improvising large parts of the script, as he explains on the commentary track to Aguirre: The Wrath Of God.
Herzog and his films have won and been nominated for many awards over the years. Most notably, Herzog won the best director award for Fitzcarraldo at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival. Grizzly Man, directed by Herzog, won the Alfred P Sloan Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
He was honored at the 49th San Francisco International Film Festival, receiving the 2006 Film Society Directing Award. Four of his films have been shown at the San Francisco International Film Festival throughout the years - Herdsmen Of The Sun in 1990, Bells From The Deep in 1993, Lessons Of Darkness in 1993, and Wild Blue Yonder in 2006.
The screenings are open for members of HFC only. Please contact Bh S S Prakash Reddy of the Hyderabad Film Club at 2373-0841/93910-20243 for further details.