Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Aguirre, des Zorn Gottes (Werner Herzog, 1972)
Probably one of the most intense film of all time, Aguirre The Wrath of God is the first and the best of the five collaborations between Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog. In general I find Herzog's films very heavy and hard to approach but also deep spiritual and intense experiences. He is one of the best filmmakers of the 70's if not the best, to have been a non-Holllywood director is like being a B-Movie filmmaker, but that's another topic...

The atmosphere of Aguirre The Wrath of God is very involving and disturbing. First, with the constant use of keyboards reminding me bands like Burzum or Summoning that like to create spiritual ambiances to the harsh and "heavy" black metal they are playing.

Kinsky's acting is very intense and his approach in playing Aguirre may seem in the first place overacted but I think that's one of the best performances ever filmed in the history in Cinema. Well, I like characters bigger than life and the look he has in his eyes while looking everywhere is so intense that we feel he is pure evil. Aguirre is depicted has an egocentered, melomaniacal, and prophetic figure, it put a cornerstone into period films.

Nothing can be compared to Aguirre, and I think no one was as crazy to work with Kinski as Herzog did and no one was as arrogant to take a crew into so much wilderness and danger to shoot a film. He even did it twice with Kinski and in South America with his other 1981 masterpiece Fitzcarraldo.

I highly recommend this film because it represents truly what is an extraordinary achievement in filmmaking. Aguirre is far more ambitious than an achievement like The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (don't get me wrong I loved it too but both are so different)...

A film retrospective by Michaël Parent

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