Sunday, September 25, 2005

Burden of Dreams

"If I abandon this project
I would be a man without dreams
And I don't want to live like that
I live my life or I end my life
with this project."

-Werner Herzog on his film Fitzcaraldo

Les Blank's Burden of Dreams is the perfect companion to Herzog's body of work. It creates an analogy between Herzog's own determination to complete his Fitzcaraldo with many of his characters: Fitzcaraldo who tries to build an opera house in the Amazon jungle, Strozek who launches a fireworks assault against the sun... They don't seem crazy so much, not anymore. Blank's film has humanized them, somehow. Seeing Herzog so earnest and sincere about his own extremities somehow reflects back on to his own films. It's not insanity that seems to drive them to extremities (Herzog and his characters), but a slipping dream, an overwhelming sanity.

1 comment:

Maximum Sentence said...

Keeping the dream from overslipping is what pushes us-- I agree. We need the slip for the same reason a lady in 1879 needed it: A slip attempts to hide the skin that tries to show through our dresses. Having the world slipping lets us slide our fleshy parts back into the open-- into danger and exposure. The slip moves toward safety. Those of us who need the slip and love to fight the slip hunger to keep ourselves away from the becalming comforts. We must always be expressing and redefining. Allowing things to overslide is the same as pretending satisfaction is permanent, when really it explodes after we touch it.