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Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo
Your Price: $26.50 CDN
Author: Werner Herzog
Publisher: Ecco Books
Format: Hardcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0061575534
ISBN-13: 9780061575532

About the Book:

One of the most revered filmmakers of our time, Werner Herzog wrote this diary during the making of Fitzcarraldo, the lavish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be rubber baron who pulls a steamship over a hill in order to access a rich rubber territory. Later, Herzog spoke of his difficulties when making the film, including casting problems, reshoots, language barriers, epic clashes with the star, and the logistics of moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects.

Hailed by critics around the globe, the film went on to win Herzog the 1982 Outstanding Director Prize at Cannes. Conquest of the Useless, Werner Herzog's diary on his fever dream in the Amazon jungle, is an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a genius during the making of one of his greatest achievements.

What people say:

"Hypnotic … It is ever tempting to try to fathom his restless spirit and his determination to challenge fate." — New York Times

"As the book makes abundantly clear, this isn't the jungle promoted by organizers of eco-tours: It's a place of absurdity, cruelty and squalor; of incompetence and grotesquery; of poisonous snakes and insects from a fever dream; of Indians armed with poisoned arrows and Indians who craftily use the media. Hazards abound: greedy officials, deranged actors and drunken helpers... What transpires in the jungle, combined with his native astringency, moves [Herzog] to a curdled poetry, to ecstasies of loathing and disgust. … Much of Herzog's focus here is intensely physical, but he is also an imaginative cultural observer." — San Francisco Chronicle

About the Author:

Werner Herzog grew up in a remote mountain village in Bavaria. He never saw any films, watched television, or had a telephone as a child. During high school, he worked the night shift as a welder in a steel factory in order to produce his first film, in 1961, at the age of nineteen. Since then, he has produced, written, and directed more than fifty films. He lives in Los Angeles, California.