Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Werner Herzog – 1972) A

No matter what you think about whatgoes in the actual body of the film, the opening and closing shots are one of the most memorable scenes in movies. Aguirre standing on the desolate raft with nothing but bodies and monkeys in the middle of the Amazon still planning his empire in his head is pure genius. The actual story of the small expedition is pretty simple (looking for El Dorado, mutiny by Aguirre…) and the focus here is on Aguirre whose madness and ambition is so perfectly portrayed by Klaus Kinski. He’s got that maniacal look in his eye that tells you all you need to know about his mental state.

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