Date: 6 February 2014
Title: Aguirre: The Wrath of Gods
Director: Werner Herzog (Germany)
Language: English (French Subtitles)
Duration: 93 minutes
Key Actors: Klaus Kinski
Time: 8:00 pm
Location: Mouawad Museum (Beirut, Lebanon)
Link to IMDB: Click Here
YouTube Trailer: Click Here
Roger Ebert: Click Here
Slant Magazine: Click Here
Philosophical Films: Click Here
New York Times: Click Here
Flickering Myth: Click Here
Review by Mostafa Hefny: Click Here
Download Article by George Paul Csicsery: Herzog in a Political Hall of Mirrors: Click Here
Download Article by Gideon Bachman: The Man on the Volcano: A Portrait of Werner Herzog: Click Here
Synopsis: (from Wikipedia)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God is a 1972 West German New Wave adventure art film written and directed by Werner Herzog. The soundtrack was composed and performed by German progressive/Krautrock band Popol Vuh. The story follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco and Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Using a minimalist story and dialogue, the film creates a vision of madness and folly, counterpointed by the lush but unforgiving Amazonian jungle. Although based loosely on what is known of the historical figure of Aguirre, the film's story line is, as Herzog acknowledged years after the film's release, a work of imagination. Some of the people and situations may have been inspired by Gaspar de Carvajal's account of an earlier Amazonian expedition, although Carvajal was not on the historical voyage represented in the film. Other accounts state that the expedition went into the jungles but never returned to civilization.
Aguirre was the first of five collaborations between Herzog and the volatile Kinski. The director and the actor had differing views as to how the role should be played, and they clashed throughout the film's production, while Kinski's tantrums terrorized both the crew and the local natives who assisted the production. The production was shot entirely on location, and was fraught with difficulties. Filming took place in the Peruvian rainforest on the Amazon River during an arduous five-week period, shooting on tributaries of the Ucayali region. The cast and crew climbed mountains, cut through heavy vines to open routes to the various jungle locations, and rode treacherous river rapids on rafts built by natives.
Several critics have declared the film a masterpiece, and it has appeared on Time magazine's list of "All Time 100 Best Films". Aguirre’s visual style and narrative elements had a strong influence on Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film Apocalypse Now.
Werner Herzog (5 September 1942), is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, an actor and an opera director. Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema, along with Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Margarethe von Trotta, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner Schröter, and Wim Wenders. Herzog's films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog "the most important film director alive." American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog "has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular." In the past 10 years or so, Herzog has also produced some wonderful documentaries: Caves of Forgotten Dreams, Encounters at the End of the World and My Best Friend. The latter describes the turbulent relationship he's had with Klaus Kinski, a difficult actor to deal with. Along with Aquire, Kinski worked with Herzog on 4 others of Herzog's major films: Fitzcarraldo, Nesferatu the Vampyre, Cobra Verde and Woyzeck.