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Burden of Dreams

BURDEN OF DREAMS goes behind the scenes of the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s epic “Fitzcarraldo,” following the director and his team as they battle against the seemingly endless obstacles in pursuit of an impossible dream.

Director: Les Blank
Year: 1982
Time: 95 min

 Burden of Dreams
(1982) on IMDb

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Sweden: Vodeville
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Ways to Influence

Share this film. Give other the chance to learn from its story.

Learn more about the extensive output of Werner Herzog. If you have the interest and opportunity, attend the Rogue Film School, a series of weekend film seminars led by Herzog himself.

Act to preserve the Amazon rainforest. To cut back on some of the threats facing “the lungs of the earth,” reduce both your paper and oil consumption. Learn more through Greenpeace.

Adopt your own acre of rainforest, helping to protect it, by supporting the Rainforest Alliance Network.

Give voice to your inner artist, or encourage others who have an artistic vision but not yet the courage to release it. As Herzog stated, “We have to articulate ourselves – otherwise we would be cows in a jungle.” 

Related Articles and Resources

Why the Arts Matter

The creation and appreciation of art is universal across continents, cultures and classes, and at the same time is intensely personal.(…)

Find out more here.

Maureen Gosling on BURDEN OF DREAMS

Filmmaker Maureen Gosling talks about working on BURDEN OF DREAMS and what she learnt from Werner’s unique style of filmmaking.

Listen to the interview on Radio New Zealand National. 

Les Blank Obituary

Leslie Harrod Blank, film-maker, born 27 November 1935; died 7 April 2013

You’ll find The Gu

Les Blank Interview From 1982

“’I shouldn’t make movies anymore. I should go to a lunatic asylum.’
The Toronto Film Festival audience responds to his monologues with smatterings of giggles, occasional gales of laughter. But some people are shifting nervously in their seats. A few actually get up and leave.There’s an ineffable uneasiness shared by those who remain to watch the film…”

Read the full article here. 

The Madness of Werner Herzog

“Werner Herzog has forever been a maverick of modern cinema and certainly never one to work within the constraints of the so-called ‘normal cinema’. (…) So let’s take a look at the man who has arguably produced some of the most interesting and compellingly insane pieces of cinema of the 20th and 21st centuries”

Check out the full article on What Culture. 

Top Ten Craziest and Talented Directors

“Some of the most overlooked personalities in the film industry are the men and women who sit in the director’s chair.(…) It is often the directors who outshine their fellow artists in terms of eccentricities and sheer craziness.”

Check out the list.

When Peru’s Isolated Indigenous Emerge From Deepest Amazon Jungle

“For more than a hundred years, the Mashco had lived in almost complete isolation; there were rare sightings, but they were often indistinguishable from backwoods folklore.”

Read the full article on The New Yorker.

The Ethics of Documentary Filmmaking

“To film or not to film? How close to a subject is too close? How far is too far? These are questions that documentary filmmakers should be asking themselves when they set out to record a true story. Sometimes lines are crossed, and sometimes boundaries are set beforehand. Sometimes the filmmaker and the audience disagree on where the line is, and a divide is created between them. ”

You’ll find the full article on Indie Wire. 


Roger Ebert.com

Raymond Durgnat

The A.V Club

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