One of the most revered filmmakers of our time, Werner Herzog wrote this diary during the making of Fitzcarraldo, the lavish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be rubber baron who pulls a steamship over a hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. Later, Herzog spoke of his difficulties when making the film, including casting problems, reshoots, language barriers, epic clashes with the star, and the logistics of moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects.
Hailed by critics around the globe, the film went on to win Herzog the 1982 Outstanding Director Prize at Cannes. Conquest of the Useless, Werner Herzog's diary on his fever dream in the Amazon jungle, is an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a genius during the making of one of his greatest achievements.
Magnificent book, one of the best I've read in this year.I've grown quite fond of diaries and journals over the past while and Herzog's notes, written in minuscule script during the making of his epic film "Fitzcarraldo", are mesmerizing, poetic, candid and illuminating. Not much about the making of the actual film, more a depiction of the inner landscapes of the director's mind, the moods (ecstatic, furious, depressed) that accompanied the massive undertaking of bringing the film to the world's screens.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
No rating provided
Originally published in the noted director's native Germany in 2004, Herzog's diary, more prose poetry than journal entries, will appeal even to those unfamiliar with the extravagant 1982 film. From June 1979 to November 1981, Herzog recounted not only the particulars of shooting the difficult film about a fictional rubber baron-which included the famous sequence of a steamer ship being maneuvered over a hill from one river to another-but also the dreamlike quality of life in the Amazon. Famous faces swim in and out of focus, notably Mick Jagger, in a part that ended up on the cutting room floor, and the eccentric actor Klaus Kinski, who constantly berated the director after stepping into the title role that Jason Robards had quit. Fascinated by the wildlife that surrounded him in the isolated Peruvian jungle, Herzog details everything from the omnipresent insect life to piranhas that could bite off a man's toe. Those who haven't encountered Herzog on screen will undoubtedly be drawn in by the director's lyricism, while cinephiles will relish the opportunity to retrace the steps of one of the medium's masters. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved