Fitzcarraldo: 25th Anniversary Edition (1982)
Saturday 14th April 2007
Fitzcarraldo, released by Anchor Bay UK as a 25th Anniversary special edition on 21st May 2007, acclaimed German director Werner Herzog emulates Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in this mammoth epic set in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
Klaus Kinski gives an exceptional performance as the wild-eyed entrepreneur Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald (the Indians call him Fitzcarraldo) who dreams of bringing opera to the jungle and is literally driven mad by his passion for music. To finance his fantastic dream, Fitzcarraldo decides to cash in on the lucrative rubber tree crop but the only area left to exploit is seemingly out of reach, beyond the impassable Ucayala Falls. Fitzcarraldo relishes a challenge and decides to actually lift his huge steamboat over a mountain from one branch of the river to the other to reach the trees. With the aid of a tribe of Native Indians, bewitched by records featuring the voice of the greatest singer of all time - Enrico Caruso, Fitzcarraldo fights against all odds to achieve his goal.
If it was anyone else making Fitzcarraldo today the filming of this herculian task may have been achieved with the help of digital effects, but not Herzog. He battled the dangerous weather conditions, warring local tribes, his unstable leading man and murderous Indian chiefs and actually lifted a full size replica ship over the falls. This passionate commitment to realism makes Fitzcarraldo a completely enthralling and visually spectacular experience. With exquisite photography, Herzog's uniquely stylish film pulls the viewer deep into the South American jungle to experience a life filled with danger, mosquitoes, madness and sweat.
The 25th Anniversary Edition of Fitzcarraldo comes packaged with Les Blank's award-winning documentary Burden Of Dreams. Les Blank's documentary follows the making of the film which parallels the quest to bring opera to the jungle with the director's own determination to see his project to the screen. Stars Jason Robards and Mick Jagger both pull out midway through the shoot, before weather woes, bad feelings on-set and a war between Peru and Ecuador all conspire to hold up the production. What does emerge is Herzog's remarkable, dogmatic attitude towards the chaos.
Fitzcarraldo is presented in the film's original theatrical widescreen 1.85:1 aspect ratio and is enhanced for 16x9 TVs. The commentary track, featuring Werner Herzog and producer Lucki Stipetic, reveals much of the ideals the filmmakers had when making this movie. The disc also contains a stills gallery with images from the set of the film, as well as promotional images.
- None or TBC
Please note - Disc special features are subject to change, may differ from format to format and/or may differ from region to region.