Fort Augustus
Burden of Dreams

Les Blank, USA, 1982, 95 mins, Cert 12

Screening at: Kinlochleven, Sat 1st August 9:30pm   |   Nairn, Fri 7th August 2pm

Still from the movieWhy climb Mount Everest? Because it’s there. Why pull a 37 ton cinema across a nation? Because the nation, and movies, are beautiful, and we want to express our love for them. Why did an impassioned German filmmaker haul a boat over an isthmus in South America? That’s the fascinating question that hovers in the sweaty jungle air in Burden of Dreams.

Werner Herzog’s film Fitzcarraldo told the story of an obsessed Irishman trying to bring opera to a distant tribe. Herzog could have used model boats to recreate the Irishman’s project, or special effects but, mostly, he didn’t. This was the way they made movies in the silent period.

Documentary filmmaker Les Blank realised that the “making of” would be fascinating, so filmed the whole, extraordinary, impossible, quixotic, dangerous, hilarious thing. And now we’re showing Blank’s film to take your breath away. When Herzog heard that his friend Lotte Eisner was very sick in Paris, he walked from Munich to Paris, in dreadful winter conditions, as a way of showing how much he cared for her. This is totally the spirit in which we are doing our wee pilgrimage and, so, Meister Herzog, we salute you.

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