Burden of Dreams
|Burden of Dreams|
|Directed by||Les Blank|
Burden of Dreams is a 1982 "making-of" documentary film directed by Les Blank, shot during and about the chaotic production of Werner Herzog's 1982 film Fitzcarraldo, and filmed on location in the jungles of South America.
Throughout production, Blank and his small crew became exhausted and exasperated from the stress of the work. Blank said that he felt “unconnected to the people around me”. Keeping up with the antics of Herzog and Klaus Kinski (the film’s star) proved difficult for the reserved, introverted Blank. By the last week of production, he was so burnt out that he feared coming out of production "like some Viet Nam veterans, horribly calloused". He wrote in his journal, "I'm tired of it all and I couldn't care less if they move the stupid ship – or finish the fucking film".
Blank would often ask Herzog to repeat statements while being filmed that he originally made off-camera. In a 2009 interview with Jesse Pearson for Vice magazine, Blank was asked to recall a scene in the documentary showing Herzog delivering a monologue about the violence and destruction of the jungle around him. Blank says that the scene originally took place in the middle of a canoe ride, away from cameras, but he liked the speech enough to coax it out of Herzog again. "When the moment was right," Blank told Vice, "I pulled him aside and said, 'Can I do a little interview?' And he said, 'Sure.' Goodwin led him around to something that sparked him off on that tangent again. That's how we got the speech."
Reception and honors
The film poster was created by Montana artist Monte Dolack and Eduardo Sanguinetti.
Other documentaries about troubled movie productions:
- Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, about the making of Apocalypse Now
- Lost Soul, about the making of the 1996 version of The Island of Dr. Moreau
- Blank, Les; Bogan, James (1984). Burden of dreams : screenplay, journals, reviews, photographs. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books. p. 86. ISBN 0-938190-17-2.
- Blank, Les; Bogan, James (1984). Burden of dreams : screenplay, journals, reviews, photographs. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books. pp. 112, 114. ISBN 0-938190-17-2.
- Benzine, Adam (5 February 2013). "Hot Docs to honour Blank". Playback. Brunico Communications. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
- "Preserved Projects". Academy Film Archive.
- Burden of Dreams at AllMovie
- Burden of Dreams at Rotten Tomatoes
- Paul Arthur, essay: "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities" (title of a noted poem by Delmore Schwartz), Burden of Dreams DVD at The Criterion Collection
- Burden of Dreams at the Internet Movie Database