Monday, March 5, 2012

Crazy 80's Project: Fitzcarraldo

A would-be entrepreneur/opera aficionado, Fitzcarraldo, (Klaus Kinski) hopes to break into the thriving rubber business in South America so that he can get rich and build his dream opera house in the jungle. In order to do this, Fitzcarraldo makes a dangerous journey down the river through the heart of the savage (read: non-white) lands, where very few white men have ever made it out alive. And if this wasn't a big enough obstacle to overcome, he then must move the ship he has been traveling on literally over a mountain in order to get to the rubber. If this doesn't sound like the makings of an epic film, I don't know what does. But the problem with Fitzcarraldo is that it never quite feels like the epic it should be. Don't get me wrong, there are quite a few spectacular moments, such as the quiet scene when Fitzcarraldo's ship enters the savage territory or when we first glimpse the complicated pulley system devised to move the ship over the mountain. But, more often than not, I was watching with a passive interest, rather than becoming particularly awed by the whole experience. I'm certainly glad I saw Fitzcarraldo, but it's not something I will probably ever feel the need to revisit. B-

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