By Calum Marsh
By Michelle Orange
By Michael Atkinson
By Simon Abrams
By Zachary Wigon
By Aaron Hillis
By Casey Burchby
By Stephanie Zacharek
Probably the best and most compulsively fascinating movie ever made about a moviemaker, Les Blank and Maureen Gosling's epochal 1982 documentary has been judged as being a more significant work than the film it chronicles, Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. As if you could ever separate themthey stand as the schizophrenic halves of a single Herculean narrative and a single going-crazy-in-the-jungle experience. It's a shame Criterion couldn't have boxed them together, but this DVD remains essential: Blank/Gosling's casual chronicle of film production as Frankensteinian violation of natural laws is digitally transferred, and its portrait of Herzog, the world's most notorious filmmaking Odysseus/ Faust, is supplemented by Blank's 1980 short Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe (in which the man cooks and eats footwear in response to betting Errol Morris that the procrastinating documentarian-to-be would never finish a feature); diary entries by Blank and Gosling; commentary by all three filmmakers; footage later used for My Best Fiend; and a new interview with Herzog, in which he sets straight the career-assassinating prejudices and errors that Burden of Dreamsitself has promulgated. With no less than three films opening here this year, Herzog may just experience a renaissance.
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