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Aguirre, Wrath of God aka Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes [Blu-ray]
(Werner Herzog, 1972)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Werner Herzog Filmproduktion
Region: 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Disc Size: 48,537,239,055 bytes
Feature Size: 28,297,424,448 bytes
Video Bitrate: 29.99 Mbps
Case: Limited Steelbook Blu-ray case
Release date: May 19th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 1.33:1
Resolution: 1080p / 246 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
LPCM Audio German 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio German 3025 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3025 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps /
Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
English (SDH), none
• Feature-length audio commentary with Werner Herzog for both Aguirre, Wrath of God and Fata Morgana
•Original theatrical trailer (3:19 in 1080P)
• Stills gallery (2:08)
• The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz (1967, 15:30 in 1080P): symbolic drama about four young men hiding from an imagined enemy
• Last Words (1968, 13:15 in 1080P): short film about the last man to leave a former leper colony
• Precautions Against Fanatics (1969, 11:06 in 1080P): short satire about horse-racing enthusiasts
• Fata Morgana (1971, 1:16:18 in 1080P): hallucinatory film exploring mirages and the Mayan creation myth with optional English narration and optional commentary
• Fully illustrated booklet with a new essay by Laurie Johnston, full film credits and on-set photographs
Description: Shot entirely on location in the wild Amazonian
jungle near Machu Picchu, Aguirre, Wrath of God stars
the legendarily volatile Klaus Kinski (Nosferatu
the Vampyre) as Don Lope de Aguirre, a power-crazed
sixteenth-century explorer who leads a troupe of
conquistadors on a doomed expedition in search of El Dorado,
the fabled 'City of Gold'.
The most famed and well-regarded collaboration between New German Cinema director Werner Herzog and his frequent leading man, Klaus Kinski, this epic historical drama was legendary for the arduousness of its on-location filming and the convincing zealous obsession employed by Kinski in playing the title role. Exhausted and near to admitting failure in its quest for riches, the 1650-51 expedition of Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro (Alejandro Repulles) bogs down in the impenetrable jungles of Peru. As a last-ditch effort to locate treasure, Pizarro orders a party to scout ahead for signs of El Dorado, the fabled seven cities of gold. In command are a trio of nobles, Pedro de Ursua (Ruy Guerra), Fernando de Guzman (Peter Berling), and Lope de Aguirre (Kinski). Traveling by river raft, the explorers are besieged by hostile natives, disease, starvation and treacherous waters. Crazed with greed and mad with power, Aguirre takes over the enterprise, slaughtering any that oppose him. Nature and Aguirre's own unquenchable thirst for glory ultimately render him insane, in charge of nothing but a raft of corpses and chattering monkeys. Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (1973) was based on the real-life journals of a priest, Brother Gaspar de Carvajal (played in the film by Del Negro), who accompanied Pizarro on his ill-fated mission.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Werner Herzog’s mad masterpiece from 1972 still has its hallucinatory
charge. Its star, Klaus Kinski, terrorised his fellow cast and crew, and
in its own way ‘Aguirre’ has become cinema legend (director Herzog says
the only way he could keep Kinski on the set after one outburst was to
threaten to shoot them both). Made for buttons, it’s an awesome feat of
filmmaking. We meet a doomed expedition of sixteenth-century Spanish
soldiers and explorers in the rainforests of Peru hunting for the
mythical of city of gold, El Dorado.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Like BFI's Nosferatu the Vampyre Blu-ray Herzog fans get the option to buy the film individually in a Steelbook case prior to the large collection package. Now we have a seamlessly-branched transfer for the German and English versions. So the running time and bitrates are exactly the same. It looks very impressive. The 1080P supports solid contrast exhibiting healthy, rich black levels and some minor depth in the 1.33:1 frame. The beauty of the cinematography seems to, finally, be revealed in HD. Colors are the most pleasing attribute. The flora and fauna greens are, nothing short of, brilliant. It's also pristinely clean showcasing some hi-def detail and there are really no flaws with the rendering. This Blu-ray does a great job and provides an amazing video presentation.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
Like Nosferatu the Vampyre BFI Blu-ray have the option of the original mono audio for both German and English version and an alternative 5.1 surround bump included as an option for the German. It has a few notable separations and is very robust through a DTS-HD Master track at 3025 kbps. The score is by Popol Vuh (Nosferatu, Cobra Verde) and adds another moody, dark layer to the atmosphere. The 'theme', written by Florian Fricke is notable and sounds very clean throughout with a touch of depth in the sounds of the water currents. There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'B'-locked.
BFI stack the Blu-ray which includes a feature-length audio commentary with Werner Herzog for both Aguirre, Wrath of God and the 1-1/4 hour Fata Morgana. We get some Herzog shorts (all in 1080P) - The Unprecedented Defence of the Fortress Deutschkreuz is a symbolic drama about four young men hiding from an imagined enemy running 15-minutes from 1967. Last Words is of similar length from the following year. It is a short film about the last man to leave a former leper colony. Precautions Against Fanatics is a 10-minute short satire about horse-racing enthusiasts from 1969. Notable is Fata Morgana - a hallucinatory film exploring mirages and the Mayan creation myth with optional English narration and optional commentary. It runs 1 1/4 hours from 1971. There is a trailer and stills gallery and the package includes a fully illustrated booklet with a new essay by Laurie Johnston, full film credits and on-set photographs.
May 6th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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