For, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015

Klaus Kinski, who was both muse and aggravator to his frequent director Werner Herzog, teamed with him for a portrait of obsession and insanity in "Fitzcarraldo" (1982, PG, in German with English subtitles), a true story about an Irish rubber baron dreaming of bringing classical opera to the middle of the Peruvian jungle.

But to get to an area of great rubber resources that will finance his venture, he must get his ship to landlocked point — so he literally has the boat dragged across the mountain.

If that's not enough, director Herzog — with no computer graphics to rely on — actually replicated the act, hauling a ship across a mountain to show the action on the film in a realistic way.

If the Fitzcarraldo character was obsessed then surely Herzog was as well. (And you can see that story in the equally riveting documentary "Burden of Dreams," which chronicles Herzog's efforts to shoot this film.)


  Director Werner Herzog on location for 'Fitzcarraldo.'

The Shout! Factory has once again given new life to a movie that has been forgotten or is unknown to any but fans of the participants.

"Fitzcarraldo" looks great in a new Blu-ray release and is a one-of-a-kind picture that any foreign-film fan worth his salt should see. (And to get the full effect, track down "Burden of Dreams" for a double-bill.)