Burden of Dreams

Burden of Dreams

DVD - 2004
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Goes behind the scenes in the making of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man's attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Filmmaker Les Blank captured the production, made perilous by Herzog's determination not to use models or special effects.
Publisher: [United States] : Janus Films : Home Vision Entertainment, 2004
ISBN: 9780780030015
Branch Call Number: DVD 791.4372 FITZCAR BURDEN 1DISC
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in


From Library Staff

The filming of Werner Herzog's film, Fitzcarraldo about a steam ship being hauled over a mountain. For the film Herzog had an ACTUAL steam ship hauled over a mountain, while dealing with wars in the neighboring countries and various other calamaties. This film about a filmmaker balancing all th... Read More »

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Dec 17, 2020


Aug 05, 2020

Much more rigorously focused (and much longer) than Les Blank's other films I've seen, Burden of Dreams is a making-of-a-movie documentary that rather blows its genre mates out of the water, not least because of all the Les Blank moments in it, such as when the camera closes in on insects or lingers over food preparation. This comes without neglecting the production of Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo, including being on board for the plunge through the rapids (The stars went through it, too). Accidents are noted, the mechanics behind getting the boat over the isthmus are disclosed, and Herzog's reflections and worries throughout the production are given voice by the director himself. I don't think BoD is better than the nonpareil epic that Fitzcarraldo is. Perhaps BoD's almost leisurely pace, its attention to the film's ensemble of real natives, and its lack of sensationalism make me undervalue it. Still, Blank's other films are more purely enjoyable. --Ray Olson

As always, whatever Herzog does is amazing. I expect the "making of the film" may be better than the film itself.

Dec 12, 2018

Didn't do anything for me. The premise felt like a waste of time, and indeed the boat (SPOILER) never did make it across the mountain, though it looked like it was only a hill between two rivers. An ambitious project but felt like a failure. Some parts were interesting but I wouldn't recommend it unless, of course, you're a Herzog fan.

Aug 20, 2016

This IS a good documentary- in fact it's one of the best about making a film that's ever been made. If you want to see Herzog in his prime then this film by Les Blank is the one to watch- it's poetic and inspiring, as well as truthful and brutal.

Aug 20, 2016

Perhaps this is a good documentary. But it just left me feeling tired and empty.

Aug 11, 2011

For a complete picture, make sure to view the interview with Herzog in special features.

Jul 17, 2006

This is a wonderful documentary, but how about adding the subject film to the library catalog! "Fitzcarraldo" *is* available on DVD.


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