A long way to Fitzcarraldo

Last weekend, the New Zealand International Film Festival kicked off some pre-events in Dunedin before the main festival begins in August. I happened to notice the flyer for the screenings while we were having some drinks one evening the week before, and flipping through the guide, a film caught my eye: Fitzcarraldo, directed by Werner Herzog.

I first heard about this film when Irish band The Frames, many years titled an album and song for this film. Nevertheless, I had not seen it until a few years ago when we watched it on our television in Germany.

Starring Klaus Kinski and Claudia Cardinale, the film is loosely based on the true account of a rubber baron in Peru who took a steamboat over a mountain in order to access the rubber trees. The film embellishes this story by making the main character an idealist who dreams of using the rubber funds to finance the building of a magnificent opera house in a small city in the Amazon.

It’s spectacular and gripping, and much better seen on a theatre screen! Even better in a lovely old theatre like the Regent Theatre!

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