Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Video Round Up: Werner Herzog, Rogue Director

Tonight at 8:30 pm BMFI is hosting a screening of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, preceded by a talk by author Ben Taylor (Apocalypse on the Set: Nine Disastrous Film Productions) at 7:30 pm.

This round-up of clips and fun facts celebrates Werner Herzog's eccentricities and the creative genius (or mad man?) who pushed through all of the many production difficulties on set to create Fitzcarraldo.

Now to YouTube!

Fitzcarraldo Fun Facts:
Werner Herzog's 1983 award-winner chronicles the journey of a man whose obsession with opera leads him to try to drag a steamship over a peninsula in search of the riches on the other side.

Herzog originally sought to cast Jack Nicholson as Fitzcarraldo. He began shooting with Jason Robards as Fitzcarraldo and Mick Jagger as his sidekick, Wilbur. (This character was excised when Jagger had to drop out.) Robards became very ill and was forced to leave by order of doctors. It was then that Kinski was brought in to play the titular character.
See clips of Robards and Jagger in Fitzcarraldo.

Herzog philosophizes on the “obscenity of the jungle” and difficulties of living while directing Fitzcarraldo in Les Blank’s Burden of Dreams.

Herzog was the only director to have worked professionally with Klaus Kinski more than once.
One of Klaus Kinski’s daily raving fights from the Fitzcarraldo. [Warning: foul language.]

Bonus: Herzog plays a recorded fight between him and Kinski from the set of Aguirre and talks about his relationship with the actor.

Herzog and Kinski shooting the infamous scene of Fitzcarraldo’s steamship sailing through river rapids. No stunts, no special effects. It's all real and very deadly.

And here are some miscellaneous (and bizarre) Herzog links:

Les Blank’s short documentary Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, in which Herzog literally eats his shoe.

Herzog is shot while being interviewed by film critic and scholar Mark Kermode.

Herzog saved Joaquin Phoenix from a car crash in early 2006. When Herzog noticed that car’s gas line was leaking, he removed the cigarette lighter from Phoenix’s hand as he was about to light a cigarette.
Herzog talks about the time he saved Joaquin Phoenix’s life after Phoenix crashed his car.

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