Eyes, JAPAN Blog > Passion




Passion is an emotion found in every farce of the soul if occurring. It includes enthusiasm in every way as well as love and hate. Two Icons of German movie history and the shooting of a movie more thrilling than many other movies itself are caught in exact these feelings.
To suffer for a calling and to have a calling for something at all was always something I admired. The calling of a few were often the impulse for many. From this point of view there is a good reason to look for the work behind the objects we admire.
To make a long story short, I am talking about the movie “Fitzcarraldo” its director Werner Herzog and an actor nobody knows if to hate or to love him: Klaus Kinski.
After the initially leading actor had to resign due to health problems and Mick Jagger had to leave for a planned world tour, Herzog was searching again for a new leading actor. And so it was that the (from my point of view) dream team of Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog came together once more.

One of the most conspicuous scenes in the movie shows the act of transporting a real ship over a real mountain. Every Investor said no but Herzog didn’t want to give up and do the shot in the studio. So he invested his own money and wanted to show the real transport without movie tricks. The ship had to move with nothing more than manpower up and over the hill. But next to Herzog nobody believed this would actually be possible. For the morale in the crew this was not helping at all.

Herzog once was asked while the shooting what he wants to do after the movie was finished. His answer: “I should not do any more movies. I should go straight to the madhouse.”
Unfortunately it would be too much to list up every single happening but here are anecdotes from the potentially most extreme movie shoot ever

* One Native was bitten by a viper in the foot while cutting wood with chainsaw. Normally the man would be dead within minutes. So he took the chainsaw and saw his foot. So he survived

* The Natives also offered Herzog totally serious to kill Kinski for him. He rejected due to the fact that he still need Kinski for the movie.

* A local catholically priest recommended Herzog to get some prostitutes to increase the moral of the men. Born out of necessity he became a pimp.

* Kinski tried to breach the contract and get home but he didn’t plan on Herzog’s ” reaction. “Kinski I have a riffle with 9 bullets here in my hand. If you go now you will come not any further than the next river bend and have 8 of these bullets in your back. The last I would save for myself

* At home there was a rumor that the Natives wouldn’t be handled like human beings. But Amnesty International proved the rumors wrong.

* The natives acting in the movie had to take a break for a war against another local tribe.

* And of course the rampages of Kinski should be mentioned here:

All these catastrophic happenings slowed down the production for the movie for years and led to a financial fiasco. The project “Fitzcarraldo” is in every matter “Larger than Life”. It’s a kind of magic how Herzog had the perseverance to keep on going while the problems went worse and still there is nothing to be seen in the final cut.

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