Peril in the Lower Americas

Safety is in utter disregard while traveling through these dodgy routes. Movies like these would be nearly impossible to make in this age (sans any CGI), as they are about as impractical as they come. To watch them helps to honor the daring it took to make them.

Fitzcarraldo (pictured top, 1982) is written, produced and directed by Werner Herzog. The spirited Klaus Kinski stars as an Irish opportunist hoping to bring traditional opera to South America. His other prominent dream is to cut a new path between two rivers, which will expedite the lucrative rubber trade, allowing for a massive steamship to cross rivers. Detesting mimics, Herzog chose to undertake the task of moving a steamship across (over an incline) for real, which makes Fitzcarraldo epic.


Burden of Dreams (1982) is directed by Les Blank. The documentary chronicles the struggles in making Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo. Aptly titled, almost every aspect was inhospitable. It also makes legend of the filmmaker and his ranting star, Klaus Kinski.


The Wages of Fear (1953) is directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot. Set in Central America, a group of contracted drivers must transport volatile explosives across treacherous terrain. The wages are high, if they can just elude death and reach their destination.


Sorcerer (1977) is produced and directed by William Friedkin. It is a notable remake of The Wages of Fear. Friedkin’s vision still has parallels and relevance to today. Making use of great locations, Sorcerer is a big movie worth your eyes.


About the Author

Norbert made Murfreesboro, Tenn., his home in 1997. He conceived the Living Room Cinema column in 2006, and submits them regularly to the Murfreesboro Pulse. Aside from his love of films, Norbert is also an avid photographer. He is the very proud father of two, he beats on an old guitar, and plays a dicey game of Chess at best. Like Living Room Cinema at facebook.com/livingroomcinema.

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