Film 138 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1972’s “Aguirre, The Wrath of God”. Or as it’s known in West Germany when it was released, “Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes”. This film was directed by Werner Herzog and staring Klaus Kinski and is about a Spanish soldier named Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadors down the Orinoco and Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. This film took the director two and a half days to write. Personally, if you are someone who suffers from insomnia (like I do) then this film is just the thing to send you to sleep because nothing happened in the 33 minutes I watched before I ended up falling asleep. Nothing was ever explained or if it was, it was all in German and had no subtitles to translate. Also, everyone in the film looked bored. Kinski looked bored in every shot I saw him in except when he was trying to flirt with some random woman. Also, this group that Aguirre has with him. I had no idea who was who and why they agreed to work for him. Random woman being carried in boxes, a monk wearing no shoes in the jungle, someone wearing a headband who knows a good tree from a bad one and anyone one else they could find. I honestly felt like I’d put on a nature documentary but someone forgot to hire a narrator. I was waiting for either Ray Mears or Bear Grylls to show up and give us tips on how to survive in the jungle by drinking your own urine and rubbing sticks together to make fire. Story time – From the beginning of the production, Herzog and Kinski argued about the proper manner to portray Aguirre. Kinski wanted to play a “wild, ranting madman”, but Herzog wanted something “quieter, more menacing”. In order to get the performance he desired, before each shot Herzog would deliberately infuriate Kinski. After waiting for the hot-tempered actor’s inevitable tantrum to “burn itself out”, Herzog would then roll the camera. Also, On one occasion, irritated by the noise from a hut where cast and crew were playing cards, the explosive Kinski fired three gunshots at it, blowing the tip off one extra’s finger. Subsequently, Kinski started leaving the jungle location (over Herzog’s refusal to fire a sound assistant), only changing his mind after Herzog threatened to shoot first Kinski and then himself. The latter incident has given rise to the legend that Herzog made Kinski act for him at gunpoint. However, Herzog has repeatedly denied the claim during interviews, explaining he only verbally threatened Kinski in the heat of the moment, in a desperate attempt to keep him from leaving the set. Sounds like it was more interesting off camera than on it! If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say before I fell asleep watching 1972’s “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”.
Film – Aguirre, The Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes)
Year – 1972
Director – Werner Herzog
Written by – Werner Herzog
Staring – Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo
IMDb Rating – 8/10
My Rating – Zzzzzzzzzzz
Length – 94 min (1h 34min)
Genre – Adventure, Drama, History
Reading… in German
Welcome to the middle of nowhere in Peru
Even the narration is German
Thats a lot of people Aguirre has hired to find El Dorado
Who brought the donkeys?
Walk faster pigs
Better bring a monk with us
Why does Aguirre have only one woman in his crew?
Better bathe the pigs
Don’t you hate it when you watch a foreign film that has no subtitles?
That is a very mucky river… And it’s making me want to pee
Now it’s making me want to take a poo
That dude just hit his head on a tree branch
Why are they carrying a woman in a box through the jungle?
Get out of my way!!!!
I can’t tell if Kinski was acting or if he went mad
They are knee deep in muddy water
All of us will rest in this very small area
That is the worst camp fire I’ve ever seen
She clearly doesn’t belong in the jungle
Aguirre just having a quick peek at a woman sat down
Is that a cannon between your legs or are you pleased to see me?
Good God you are boring me!!!
Great! More shit coloured water!
Everyone on these boats look bored
Things just got rough
PROTECT THE MEAT!!!
I wish I knew what was happening
Everyone survived but one boat seems to be stuck adnd about to hit a cliff
Where did that parrot come from?
19 minutes in and nothing has really happened
I feel like I’m watching a nature programme! Where’s Bear Grylls when I need him?
Who needs buckets when we can use our helmets
Is that guy shooting at the water?
Who’s setting off explosions in the middle of our sleep
They’ve been stuck on the river for a whole day…
Nope! They’re all dead!
Hold up! Where did the rowers go?
Who cares! Better keep walking through the jungle
Someone just got caught and I didn’t care
Why is the monk hiking through the jungle with no shoes on?
Aguirre is so bored he can’t be bothered doing anything
Where did that guy get that blunt from?
Better blow up our dead mates
Aguirre decides to flirt with a woman by showing her some form of animal
Better make a new boat while I fish for corpses
Why does this crew have blacksmiths?
Everyone still looks bored
Even I’m bored
Aguirre sure does like to ease-drop
Time for another meeting
That dude just got shot!
Is their armour made out of tin?
Aguirre looks bored yet again listening to some music