' Cinema Romantico: Friday's Thursday's Old Fashioned Flashback to the 80's Freeze Frame

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friday's Thursday's Old Fashioned Flashback to the 80's Freeze Frame

“Fitzcarraldo” and “Burden of Dreams” are technically different movies, of course. The former was a fictional film directed by Werner Herzog and released in March of 1982. The latter was a documentary directed by Les Blank and released in May of 1982. But then, the latter chronicled the making of the former, and so even if they are different, they are inseparable. But they are not inseparable simply because “Burden of Dreams” is about the making of “Fitzcarraldo.” But they are not inseparable simply because “Burden of Dreams” is about the making of “Fitzcarraldo”; they are inseparable because they are both about Werner Herzog.

Even if “Fitzcarraldo” is all about an Irishman played by Klaus Kinski trying to haul a steamship over a mountain, it’s just as much about Herzog himself doing the same thing because to film the hauling of a steamship over a mountain he literally filmed the hauling of a steamship over a mountain. And so when you watch “Burden of Dreams” chronicling all this, it becomes difficult to even tell them apart, where fantasy ends and reality begins, perhaps because it’s simply both simultaneously. “It’s only the dreamers who ever move mountains,” says Herzog. “If I abandon this project, I would be a man without dreams and I don't want to live like that,” says Fitzcarraldo. Or is it the other way around?

That’s why I cherish this shot. His back is to the camera, looking off toward the dreamer’s steamship, perched, nearing glory, but not quite there. We can’t see his face. Whose face? Does it matter?



1 comment:

Alex Withrow said...

Love and agree with every word of this post. If I watch one, I have to watch the other. Definitely inseparable to me.