In their ever growing attempt to take over the world that we call online film streaming, Hulu has added yet another superb Criterion release to their rather superb catalogue.
Available online now is Burden Of Dreams, the Les Blank directed documentary that follows the nearly five year odyssey that was German auteur Werner Herzog’s production of arguably his most ambitious, and most inventive films (and a personal favorite of mine) the stunning Fitzcarraldo.
Fitzcarraldo very simply follows one man’s attempt to build an opera house within the very deepest part of the Amazon Jungle, and while the film itself is one of the most ambitious films that the filmmaker has ever produced, this documentary proves that Fitzcarraldo is far more than just an ambitious picture. Yes, there is one scene that involved the pulling of a 320 ton steamship over a mountain, by hundreds of native Indians, but as the Criterion page for this film puts it, Burden is really a breathtaking look at both the filmmaking process, and a remarkable document of what happens when true creativity takes over both a man, and his film. Herzog is a fascinating character to watch on screen, with a voice that will haunt you until you die (and should be used to narrate every film ever, by the way), and even if you aren’t a fan of Fitzcarraldo, this is a film worth checking out, simply because Herzog is such a remarkably interesting person. No one, and I mean no one, is like Herzog.
Fitzcarraldo is a singular work of cinema, that you would be hard pressed to find something comparable to. This stunning documentary proves that the film may actually be something even more than that. Simply put, a must see.