Film club screens Herzog’s first big film

The Williams Lake Film Club will present its next film Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Gibraltar Room.

The Williams Lake Film Club will present its next film Tuesday, Feb. 5,  at the Gibraltar Room.

We will be bringing you a very special film, Aguiree, a classic that catapulted director Werner Herzog into film world attention.

It was his first big film (1973), and still is one of the very best.

Herzog did not have much money and actually stole the camera from the film institute he was studying at.

All the finances he managed to raise was $370,000. a third of which went to Klaus Kinski, the only well-known star in the film.

And he truly is incredible, becoming one of Herzog’s special characters he worked with in future films.

Most of the others were extras, mostly Peruvian Indios. The filming took place in the deepest jungle of Peru and the Amazons, and yes, Herzog confirmed that he threatened Kinski with a handgun if he would not finish the film.

I met Herzog  at a seminar in Edmonton  where he confirmed quite a few of the wildest rumours.

But as he said — what else could he do?

The story of the film is based on a conquest and on the diary of a priest who accompanied Aguiree.

In the mid-16th century, after annihilating the Incan empire, Gonzalo Pizarro leads his army of conquistadors over the Andes into the heart of the most savage environment on earth in search of the fabled city of gold, El Dorado.

As the soldiers battle starvation, Indians, the forces of nature, and each other, Don Lope de Aguirre, “The Wrath of God” in his own words, is consumed with visions of conquering all of South America, and revolts against Pizarro, leading his own group down a treacherous river on a doomed quest into oblivion.

What makes it even more stunning is that he has his 15 year old daughter with him. Crazed with greed and mad with power, Aguirre takes over the quest, slaughtering any that oppose him – mad for gold! And his greed knows no bounds.

This is truly an amazing film, hard to explain. The actors went through incredible hardships, and is actually lived under the worst circumstances in the jungle, and this certainly is part of the drama.

The music is haunting, the cinematography of nature is overwhelming in its brutal beauty. And this is a film which is hard to find and which you definitely should not miss. I can hardly wait to see it again.

Screening will start at 7 p.m., back doors for admission will open at 6:30 p.m.

If you do come through the front doors, just walk through to the back to meet us. Admission is $9, for Film Club members $8, seniors (65+) and students, TRU and HS, $6.

The Williams Lake Film Club is non-profit and the proceeds help to support the LDA, Williams Lake Chapter of the Association for Students with Learning Disabilities.