Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

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9780061575532: Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

“Hypnotic….It is ever tempting to try to fathom his restless spirit and his determination to challenge fate.”

—Janet Maslin, New York Times

 

Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man) is one of the most revered and enigmatic filmmakers of our time, and Fitzcarraldo is one of his most honored and admired films. More than just Herzog’s journal of the making of the monumental, problematical motion picture, which involved, among other things, major cast changes and reshoots, and the hauling (without the use of special effects) of a 360-ton steamship over a mountain , Conquest of the Useless is  a work of art unto itself, an Amazonian fever dream that emerged from the delirium of the jungle. With fascinating observations about crew and players—including Herzog’s lead, the somewhat demented internationally renowned star Klaus Kinski—and breathtaking insights into the filmmaking process that are uniquely Werner Herzog, Conquest of the Useless is an eye-opening look into the mind of a cinematic master.

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Review:

“Hypnotic...Any book by Mr. Herzog...turns his devotees into cryptographers. It is ever tempting to try to fathom his restless spirit and his determination to challenge fate.” (Janet Maslin, New York Times)

“Reveals Herzog to be witty, compassionate, microscopically observant and—your call—either maniacally determined or admirably persevering.” (Los Angeles Times)

“Stands alone as a compellingly gonzo piece of reportage. . . . As a read, Conquest flies along—but not because it’s especially plotty. Rather, it gathers its kick from the spectacle of a celebrity director escaping the late–’70s famescape into his own obsessions.” (Time Out New York)

“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 on the medium’s masters.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Urgent and compelling. . . . A valuable historical record and a strangely stylish, hypnotic literary work.” (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover:

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.

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Werner Herzog
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ISBN 10: 0061575534 ISBN 13: 9780061575532
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Fitzcarraldo , written and directed by Werner Herzog, stars Klaus Kinski as the title character - a would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman called Fitzcarraldo in Peru, who has to pull a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. The film is derived from the real-life story of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald. In his autobiographical film Portrait Werner Herzog , Herzog has stated that the film s spectacular production was an incredible ordeal. It famously involved moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects. Herzog believes that no one has ever performed a similar feat in history, and likely never will again, calling himself Conquistador of the Useless . The casting of the film was also quite difficult. Jason Robards was originally cast in the title role, but he became ill and was forced to leave. Herzog then considered casting Jack Nicholson, and even playing Fitzcarraldo himself, before Klaus Kinski accepted the role. By that point, forty percent of shooting was complete and Herzog insisted on a total reshoot with Kinski. Mick Jagger was originally cast as Fitzcarraldo s assistant Wilbur, but his shooting schedule expired and he departed to tour with the Rolling Stones. Though none of the major cast members spoke English natively, the original soundtrack was recorded in English, as it was the only language common to the lead actors. Klaus Kinski himself was a major source of tension, as he fought with Herzog and other members of the crew. In his documentary My Best Fiend , Herzog says that one of the local Peruvian chiefs who was an extra in the film offered to murder Kinski for him, but Herzog declined because he needed Kinski to complete filming. Les Blank s documentary Burden of Dreams , about the production of the film, also documents these many hardships. Herzog won the 1982 Best Director at Cannes for the film, which was hailed by critics around the globe. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780061575532

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 231 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Fitzcarraldo , written and directed by Werner Herzog, stars Klaus Kinski as the title character - a would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman called Fitzcarraldo in Peru, who has to pull a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. The film is derived from the real-life story of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald. In his autobiographical film Portrait Werner Herzog , Herzog has stated that the film s spectacular production was an incredible ordeal. It famously involved moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects. Herzog believes that no one has ever performed a similar feat in history, and likely never will again, calling himself Conquistador of the Useless . The casting of the film was also quite difficult. Jason Robards was originally cast in the title role, but he became ill and was forced to leave. Herzog then considered casting Jack Nicholson, and even playing Fitzcarraldo himself, before Klaus Kinski accepted the role. By that point, forty percent of shooting was complete and Herzog insisted on a total reshoot with Kinski. Mick Jagger was originally cast as Fitzcarraldo s assistant Wilbur, but his shooting schedule expired and he departed to tour with the Rolling Stones. Though none of the major cast members spoke English natively, the original soundtrack was recorded in English, as it was the only language common to the lead actors. Klaus Kinski himself was a major source of tension, as he fought with Herzog and other members of the crew. In his documentary My Best Fiend , Herzog says that one of the local Peruvian chiefs who was an extra in the film offered to murder Kinski for him, but Herzog declined because he needed Kinski to complete filming. Les Blank s documentary Burden of Dreams , about the production of the film, also documents these many hardships. Herzog won the 1982 Best Director at Cannes for the film, which was hailed by critics around the globe. Bookseller Inventory # AA89780061575532

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo, Werner Herzog, "Fitzcarraldo", written and directed by Werner Herzog, stars Klaus Kinski as the title character - a would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman called Fitzcarraldo in Peru, who has to pull a steamship over a steep hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. The film is derived from the real-life story of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fermin Fitzcarrald. In his autobiographical film "Portrait Werner Herzog", Herzog has stated that the film's spectacular production was an incredible ordeal. It famously involved moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects. Herzog believes that no one has ever performed a similar feat in history, and likely never will again, calling himself 'Conquistador of the Useless'. The casting of the film was also quite difficult. Jason Robards was originally cast in the title role, but he became ill and was forced to leave. Herzog then considered casting Jack Nicholson, and even playing Fitzcarraldo himself, before Klaus Kinski accepted the role. By that point, forty percent of shooting was complete and Herzog insisted on a total reshoot with Kinski. Mick Jagger was originally cast as Fitzcarraldo's assistant Wilbur, but his shooting schedule expired and he departed to tour with the Rolling Stones. Though none of the major cast members spoke English natively, the original soundtrack was recorded in English, as it was the only language common to the lead actors. Klaus Kinski himself was a major source of tension, as he fought with Herzog and other members of the crew. In his documentary "My Best Fiend", Herzog says that one of the local Peruvian chiefs who was an extra in the film offered to murder Kinski for him, but Herzog declined because he needed Kinski to complete filming. Les Blank's documentary "Burden of Dreams", about the production of the film, also documents these many hardships. Herzog won the 1982 Best Director at Cannes for the film, which was hailed by critics around the globe. Bookseller Inventory # B9780061575532

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