Conquest of the Useless

Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

Werner Herzog author


Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers Inc

Published:1st Jul '10

Should be back in stock very soon

Conquest of the Useless cover

A vision had seized hold of me, like the demented fury of a hound that has sunk its teeth into the leg of a deer carcass and is shaking and tugging so frantically that the hunter gives up trying to calm him. It was the vision of a large steamship scaling a hill under its own steam, while above this natural landscape soars the voice of Caruso...One of the most revered of contemporary filmmakers, Werner Herzog kept a diary during the making of "Fitzcarraldo", the lavish 1982 film that tells the story of a would-be robber baron who pulls a steamship over a hill to access a rich rubber territory. Later, Herzog spoke of his difficulties when making the film, including casting problems, reshoots, language barriers, epic clashes with the star, and the logistics of moving a 320-ton steamship over a hill without the use of special effects. Fitzcarraldo was hailed by critics around the globe, and won Herzog the 1982 Outstanding Director Prize at Cannes. "Conquest of the Useless", his diary on his fever dream in the Amazon jungle, is an extraordinary glimpse into the mind of a genius during the making of one of his greatest achievements.

"Hypnotic...Any book by Mr. Herzog...turns his devotees into cryptographers. It is ever tempting to try to fathom his restless spirit and his determination to challenge fate." -- Janet Maslin, New York Times "Reveals Herzog to be witty, compassionate, microscopically observant and-your call-either maniacally determined or admirably persevering." -- Los Angeles Times "Stands alone as a compellingly gonzo piece of reportage... As a read, Conquest flies along-but not because it's especially plotty. Rather, it gathers its kick from the spectacle of a celebrity director escaping the late-'70s famescape into his own obsessions." -- Time Out New York "Those who haven't encountered Herzog on screen will undoubtedly be drawn in by the director's lyricism, while cinephiles will relish the opportunity to retrace the steps of one on the medium's masters." -- Publishers Weekly "Urgent and compelling... A valuable historical record and a strangely stylish, hypnotic literary work." -- Kirkus Reviews

ISBN: 9780061575549

Dimensions: 203mm x 135mm x 18mm

Weight: unknown

320 pages