Saturday, September 15, 2018


Klaus Kinski as Aguirre, the Wrath of God

At the center of the Herzog narrative is a single character who follows his single-minded determination to an inevitable and irreversible end. The Herzog characters are driven by compulsions from within that can neither be softened nor averted.-Gerald Mast, A Short History of Movies

Imagine Heart of Darkness if Kurtz was on the boat. That's the feeling I got watching Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God, as the wicked and mad Agurirre (the one and only Klaus Kinski) leads his band of Spanish explorers down the Amazon river (circa 1560) in search of the gold of El Dorado. Imagine a journey to the wrong place for the wrong reason with the wrong resources under the wrong leader and you have the narrative of this mesmerizing and absurdist trip down the river of no return. Imagine a must-see film.

Slings and arrows of outrageous fortune The explorer party is cut down by their own internal struggles, lack of supplies and illness. However, the most frightening part for me is the arrows that come and cut many of them down from the natives throughout the trip. We never seem to see the natives, just their handiwork. It feels like the true Wrath of God spoken.

How  long is this movie, anyway? On my Hoopla service, I saw they had this movie divided into two parts at about 95 minutes apiece. I thought I'd watch the first part and save the second part. I was struck by the end of the first part that it seemed most of the characters had pretty much vanished or died off. I realized the second part on Hulu was just Aguirre with an English dub. I can't imagine watching this movie without listening to Kinski's voice, but that's just me.

 Reverse evolution? The monkeys take over the boat
during the last scene of Aguirre, the Wrath of God

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