thirty movies hath november – Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes (1972)

English title:  Aguirre, the Wrath of God. heretofore referred to as Aguirre

Aguirre is Werner Herzog's 3rd movie and the first he made with Klaus Kinski – a collaboration that lasted 15 years and six films.  Kinski was a brilliant actor, no doubt; yet of the 100+ movies he starred in, we most remember his work with Herzog.  their partnership was not without issues:  they threatened to kill each other regularly and their blowouts were legendary – (unconfirmed) legend also has it that during several scenes in Aguirre Herzog directed Kinski while pointing a gun to his head.

the story is based (loosely) in fact:  in XVI-century Peru, a Spanish expedition has just crossed the Andes and is making the descent towards the Amazon river.  we see them struggle with the jungle, the difficult terrain and the constant rain as they try to make their way, encumbered by their horses, lady-carrying litters, and equipment. 
the leader of the expedition decides to send an advance down the Amazon, led by Pedro de Ursia; Aguirre is second-in-command.
once on the river the group is divided into three rafts and begins the journey – there are attacks from hostile indians, internal strife, and a revolt.  de Ursia is removed from leadership.  food supplies are running out, fever is rampant and arrows continue to fly in from nowhere

Aguirre trailer

here's a bit more of the marvelous opening shot  hey, it's the entire movie!  I didn't notice that before. entire movie

the Aguirre soundtrack by Popol Vuh contributes to the dreamlike quality of the trip downriver

l’acrimei di rei (Aguirre I)

the entire soundtrack is in YT:   Aguirre I Aguirre II Aguirre III

NOTE: If you want to read about Lope de Aguirre, you can start at the wiki


De Aguirre’s letter to Phillip of Spain


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13 thoughts on “thirty movies hath november – Aguirre, Der Zorn Gottes (1972)

  1. I was wondering if you might consider making a short list of some of your favorite Spanish-language films? I'd be very interested in your picks…

  2. I heart Werner Herzog. This movie was good, the shots of them winding their way over the mountains is incredible, espcially since they actually were doing it, lugging all that shit around. I love that he does that, like in Fitzcarraldo he actually did what the character was doing…dragging the steam ship over the mountain. Insanity. Love him. I wish Kinski stuck around longer.

  3. Wow. I wnated to get into film, but in Chicago, if you did, you ended up at some network, pulling cables for the cameras, waiting for the cameraman to die or retire so you could take his spot. Not at all the glamorous job I had hoped it to be.
    Now independent filmmaking… That's more my line. Just not much of a market for it back when I wanted to get into it. <sigh>

  4. It was not my dream. My belief was that I had to get "a" degree and film / photography interested me. I didn't have goals and sadly, hardly do now. I never planned on what I wanted to be when I grew up because I honestly did not think I'd live to get out of high school. When it looked like that was what was going to happen, I suddenly desired continuing life. ;pSo, I did that, worked for a year on the Continent, came back and did my own version of "the peace corps" by teaching for a year in my backwoods home district and then quit that and started working as a graphic artist. Still here. Not very impressive, sadly.It explains the writing, uke and all of that. I have to create or my brain will explode. :)

  5. Ya know…never got round to watching Eyes Wide Open because I never like TC…way before he jumped on theOprah's sofa. That reminds me of that other actor's impression of his Scientology video? Did you see that one? Vague, I know. Anyway, kid about my age (!) didn't have to exactly exaggerate to be freaky! ;p Just asked at work, they say Jerry O'Connell.It's worth watching TC first if you haven't seen it, so you get how good JO is!

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