Sunday, November 09, 2008

November is Klaus Kinski Month II

The Emperor of New Spain in the Court of Monkeys

Consider it The Heart of Darness, or Apocalypse Now, set in the Amazon... The story of an expedition based on the diary of the Dominican friar Gaspar de Carvajal.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

As with Apocalypse Now, the cast and crew of this film nearly went as insane as the characters themselves.

Don Lope de Aguirre (Kinski) and a band of Spanish conquistadores descend from the Andean mountains of the Incan empire and head up the Amazon River in search of the mythical city of gold, El Dorado.

Of course, it all goes horribly wrong. Like all megomaniacal quests for riches, fame, power and empire, it descends into betrayal, madness, and destruction.

The final scene on the raft when all is lost, and Aguirre's daughter Florés has just taken an arrow...



When we reach the sea
We will build a bigger ship
Sail north and take Trinidad
from the Spanish crown
From there we'll sail on
and take Mexico from Cortez
What great treachery this will be!
Then, all of New Spain will be in our hands
and we'll stage history like others stage plays
I, the Wrath of God
will marry my own daughter
and with her I will found
the purest dynasty the earth has ever seen
Together we shall rule this entire continent
We will endure
I am the Wrath of God!
Who else is with me?

9 comments:

crystal said...

A Classic! :) Was it during this film that Herzog tried to shoot Kinski? Someday I have to rent Fitzcaraldo and see how the whole thing was done.

crystal said...

Oh, not that one .... must look it up.

Jeff said...

No, I think you had it right. according to wiki, there was a lot of gunplay on that location set:

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 top joint 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 debunked 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.

I guess Kinski was notoriously hard to work with and had a volcanic temper. Here he is freaking out while making Fitzcarraldo.

Liam said...

Toss that monkey, Klaus!

That is an incredible scene.

It sort of reminds me of the end of the McCain campaign.

Jeff said...

Ha. Speaking of another monkey-spank.

McCain, the Wrath of Bush

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Desde Lima, Perú

cowboyangel said...

Thanks, Jeff, for posting this.

Funny, we just checked Aguirre out of the library and are going to watch it this coming weekend. La Reina claims she has never seen it, though I could swear I watched it with her.

One of my 100 All-Time Favorite Films.

Herzog and Kinski - what a bunch of crazy nuts! For a director attracted to extreme personalities, I can't imagine another actor better suited to be in his films.

Crystal, you should definitely watch Fitzcaraldo. And Burden of Dreams, the documentary about it.

Liam: "It sort of reminds me of the end of the McCain campaign."

Bravo!

cowboyangel said...

BTW, love the clip of Kinski ranting.

Jeff said...

Funny, we just checked Aguirre out of the library and are going to watch it this coming weekend.

Sounds like you've got a romantic weekend planned!

Anne and I were watching 'God on Trial' on PBS a couple of nights ago. She couldn't stick with it.

La Reina claims she has never seen it, though I could swear I watched it with her.

Are you sure it wasn't someone else? See, that's the problem with being a long-time film buff. You've got to watch out for that stuff.

"It sort of reminds me of the end of the McCain campaign."

It reminded me of Bill Belichik after the Super Bowl last season.

We'll find out more about that Thursday night. :)