Wednesday, February 27, 2008

March Movie: Aguirre, the Wrath of God

On March 25 the Movie Geeks Club will screen the Werner Herzog classic, Aguirre, the Wrath of God. As always, the doors will open at 7:00, and the movie will start at 7:30.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Using a minimalist story and dialogue, the film creates a vision of madness and folly, counterpointed by the lush but unforgiving Amazonian jungle. Although based loosely on what is known of the historical figure of Aguirre, the film's story line is, as Herzog acknowledged years after the film's release, a work of imagination. Some of the people and situations may have been inspired by Gaspar de Carvajal's account of an earlier Amazonian expedition, although Carvajal was not present on the historical voyage represented in the film.

The film is the first collaboration between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. Their work together was immediately volatile, with the director and actor disagreeing on numerous aspects of the film and of Kinski's role. Herzog learned to play on Kinski's hostility and anger and used it throughout the film to charge scenes. Rumor holds that, at one point, Kinski threatened to leave the production but was held at gunpoint by the desperate director. Herzog reportedly threatened to shoot Kinski and then turn the gun on himself if Kinski quit the shoot. Both Herzog and Kinski have different versions of this story.

It is considered by many to be a masterpiece, and it has been included in Time Magazine's list of "All Time 100 Best Films." It is ranked #245 on IMDB's top 250 Movies list. It is also ranked as #46 on Entertainment Weekly's "Top 50 Cult Films of All-Time." It carries many of the literary and dramatic themes as the Joseph Conrad novella Heart of Darkness, and it is seen by many critics as an obvious influence on Coppola's take on the Heart of Darkness narrative, Apocalypse Now.

from Wikipedia and IMDB entries on Aguirre, the Wrath of God

1 comment:

A S H L E Y said...

GREAT HERZOG COMMENTARY. This film isn't discussed often enough. None of Herzog's films are.