Burden of Dreams

Burden of Dreams

Directed by Les Blank • 1982 • United States

For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man's attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle. Documentary filmmaker Les Blank captured the unfolding of this production, made more perilous by Herzog's determination to shoot the most daunting scenes without models or special effects, including a sequence requiring hundreds of native Indians to pull a full-size, 320-ton steamship over a small mountain. The result is an extraordinary document of the filmmaking process and a unique look into the single-minded mission of one of cinema's most fearless directors.

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Burden of Dreams
  • Burden of Dreams

    Directed by Les Blank • 1982 • United States

    For nearly five years, acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog desperately tried to complete one of the most ambitious and difficult films of his career, Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man's attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle...

Extras

  • BURDEN OF DREAMS Commentary

    This commentary features director Les Blank, editor and sound recordist Maureen Gosling, and director Werner Herzog. Blank and Gosling were recorded together in San Francisco in September 2004. Herzog was recorded in Los Angeles in January 2005.

  • Dreams and Burdens

    In this interview, recorded in Los Angeles in January 2005, Werner Herzog looks back at FITZCARRALDO through the filter of his own memory and Les Blank’s documentation of its production for BURDEN OF DREAMS.

  • Deleted Scenes

    Though the following scenes never made it into the final edit of BURDEN OF DREAMS, Les Blank allowed Herzog to use them in MY BEST FIEND (1999)––Herzog’s film about his unique relationship with the extraordinary actor Klaus Kinski. Selections have been extracted from MY BEST FIEND for presentatio...

  • Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe

    Directed by Les Blank • 1980 • United States

    As a result of a lost bet with his assistant, Errol Morris, director Werner Herzog must eat his own shoe.