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91 Aguirre: The Wrath of God 1972 
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Post Re: 91 Aguirre: The Wrath of God 1972
Aguirre: The Wrath of God

This is one of those films that is as interesting to read about as it is to watch. It seems the experience of filming Aguirre bled into the movie itself. I won't talk about Kinski's madness or his relationship with Herzog; all of this has been outlined before. But I think there is one aspect of this movie that no one has mentioned yet.

Human Rain did a great job talking about Aguirre as a character and the meaning of his pursuit. However, he left out something crucial: the futility of everything that happens in the entire movie. I think Aguirre as a film is infinitely more depressing than anyone wants to admit. Apart from the disaster that was the expedition and the monstrous acts that were committed, the audience knows that ultimately, all is for nothing. Obviously, the film tells us that El Dorado is a myth. But in the drama of the film, it is easy to forget that this is so. While I was watching, I kept expecting them to finally make a logical decision that would ensure survival or that they would stumble into a European settlement. Neither of these things happened. Instead, as we witness Aguirre's final descent into madness, we realize that this was the only possible outcome. If it is true that we all have our personal "El Dorado", then this film should come as a warning.

I will be honest, I wasn't sure about Aguirre. It's been sitting in my Netflix queue (although it has been removed recently since Netflix now sucks) for quite some time. I've always been put off by the period dress and the crazy Kinski face. I'm glad I finally watched it. There really isn't anything else like it. I was amazed that it was made so early in the 1970s. The style is similar to a documentary or a reality series. I honestly couldn't believe some of the shit they did on that river. Knowing they had zero budget just verified my suspicions of jankyness. Overall, it just adds to the value of the film. The sense of danger just adds to the atmosphere and makes you think of European explorers doing the same thing.

Also, the music is great. I wish more films had a prog rock soundtrack.

Finally, I have to mention the beheading. It totally wrecked the mood, was completely unrealistic, and didn't belong in the movie. It was stupid and disappointing.

3.5/4


Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:26 pm
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