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Films >> Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes) (1972) >>

Bradshaw, Peter. Rev. of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. The Guardian 17 August 2001.
"Here is a true classic, a gem from an era of high-wire cinema, a cinema of breathtaking ambition -- a film about a folie de grandeur , the making of which has passed into cinema lore as hardly less daring, and hardly less mad, than its subject matter. . . . Is Aguirre mad? Was Kinski? Was Herzog? Yes, yes, and yes -- and this is not to be missed."
Canby, Vincent. "'Aguirre, the Wrath of God' Haunting Film by Herzog." New York Times 4 April 1977: 43.
Absolutely stunning. "It's as if Mr. Herzog were saying that civilization -- our assumption that we have conquered nature or even come to some accommodation with it -- is . . . ridiculous. . . . a splendid and haunting work."
Ebert, Roger. Rev. of Aguirre, the Wrath of God. Chicago Sun-Times 4 April 1999.
This film is "one of the great haunting visions of the cinema." The music is organically part of the film's effect, making the audience "feel like detached observers, standing outside time, saddened by the immensity of the universe as it bears down on the dreams and delusions of man." Kinski's haunted face is crucial too. The pace is unhurried, and the film is not driven by dialogue. "What Herzog sees in the story, I think, is what he finds in many of his films: Men haunted by a vision of great achievement, who commit the sin of pride by daring to reach for it, and are crushed by an implacable universe."
Hoberman, J. "Jungle Fevers." Village Voice 10 October 2006.
"Werner Herzog was barely 30 when he made his defining work. . . . not just a great movie but an essential one. . . . a magnificent social metaphor. . . . Landscape is paramount. . . . Kinski's performance is curdled glam rock. . . . The premise is scary. The tone is absurd. The mood, cued by the lush drone of Popol Vuh's score, is languorous, even trippy."
Schager, Nick, Rev. of Aguirre, The Wrath of God. Slant Magazine 3 October 2006.
"Progressing, inexorably, toward Aguirre's delusional pronouncement that he's "The Wrath of God" (and the contradicting finale, in which he's helplessly besieged by primates), the film exudes an atmosphere of ominous spiritual deterioration generated both from Herzog and Thomas Mauch's instinctively composed, lyrically rugged cinematography and Popol Vuh's hypnotic soundtrack. The men's traitorous backstabbing comes to be a reflection of the natives' cannibalism, the futility of their quest is ultimately symbolized by the image of a boat perched in a towering tree's branches, and the occasional cutaways to random natural sights (a cow nursing its young, a mouse relocating its babies to safer shelter) imbuing the action with mysterious, ancient import."

See Also

Blake, Richard A. "Ridiculous Mountains, Amiable Mice." America 7 May (1977): 431-32.

Coleman, John. "Daggers Drawn." New Statesman 22 November 1974: 74-75.

Corliss, Richard. "Pretty Ugly." New Times 10 June 10 (1977): 71-73.

Coursen, D. "Two films by Werner Herzog." Cinemonkey: A Serious Film Journal 5.1 (1979): 22-24.

Gilliatt, Penelope. The Current Cinema: Gold. New Yorker 11 April (1977): 127-88.

Hatch, Richard. "Films." Nation 23 April (1977): 508-9.

Kauffmann, Stanley. "Stanley Kauffmann on Films: Power Plays." New Republic 16 April (1977): 23-24.

McCreadie, Marsha. "Aguirre the Wrath of God." Films in Review 28 June/July (1977): 376-77.

Perchaluk, E. "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." Independent Film Journal 29 April (1977): 14.

Rayns, Tony. "Aguirre, The Wrath of God." Sight and Sound Winter (1974/75): 56-57.

Schickel, Richard. "Meditation on Madness." Time 16 May (1977): 92-93.

Simon, John. "Good Germans, Bad Spaniards, Naughty Computer." New York Magazine 18 Apr (1977): 94-96.

Sterritt, David. "Brand New Audience for the Astonishing Aguirre." Christian Science Monitor 4 April 1977: 31.

Young, Vernon. "From Munch to Monkeys: Scandinavia to Spain." Hudson Review 28 Winter 1975/76): 570-71.