Tuesday, June 02, 2015
Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972)
Werner Herzog's films are certainly experiences, with the director's intrepid spirit of adventure and discovery reflected vividly in his work. The extreme conditions under which he made this film (including filming on location in a Peruvian rainforest) are evident on-screen, depicting the harrowing conditions faced by a group of explorers led deep into the Amazon jungle in search of the mythical city of El Dorado by a renegade Spanish soldier, Aguirre (Klaus Kinski, in a brilliant performance). Herzog takes a deliberately-paced, contemplative approach, which makes the explorers' mental and physical breakdown all the more dramatic, and frighteningly believable. Kinski perfectly conveys the descent into madness of a man on a quest in search of an unattainable goal.