the harmony of overwhelming and collective murder

this is my favorite segment from les blank's burden of dreams (1982), the documentary he made about the production of werner herzog's fitzcarraldo (1982). herzog's earnestness borders on lunacy at times and this was absolutely necessary to complete a project beset with so many perils. lesser men would have given up, saner men would have never even started.

there are any number of things to discuss at length regarding these films but today what i am focused on is the value in following your muse even when your muse threatens you with your ultimate destruction. if you have that sort of fortitude, and you live to tell the tale, you find out things that very few people are privy to.

you can find fitzcarraldo either in a regular, single-disc edition or in werner herzog and klaus kinski: a film legacy, which is worth every damn penny. watch it first, then burden of dreams, which you can get at any online retailer worth their salt or directly from the criterion collection.


  1. totally agreed.
    and to that note, here is a nice article about an event i would have killed to be at with a lot of good videos.

  2. thanks, ryan! that article is fantastic.