‘Reconquest of a Useless': Film Review

Three grads go on a post-collegiate walkabout in Werner Herzog’s shoes.

Three uninformed college graduates follow a route of unhinged dreamers in Reconquest of a Useless, anticipating to kibbutz with a suggestion of Werner Herzog and a opera-lover he done famous as they find out Fitzcarraldo‘s sharpened locations in a Peruvian Amazon. They find some-more discernible connectors to a 34-year-old prolongation than one would expect, though still their bid adds small to a legacy, ensuing in a film that is reduction an letter on brazen dexterity than a high-aspiration transport diary. Serious devotees of Herzog or Les Blank, whose Burden of Dreams celebrated a director’s on-set trials, competence find it value their time, though profits are doubtful to compensate for a months-long agenda-driven vacation documented here.

Director Sam Pressman, son of writer Edward R. Pressman, claims a personal indicate of entrance here, carrying shot a making-of doc for Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans. Before withdrawal for Peru, a 3 met with Herzog, who gave them a cover with some prolongation information, though warns that (cue Pressman’s not-very-good fabrication of a auteur’s particular voice, that we’ll hear several times), “You will find — nothing.”

His prophecy is wrong. The fellas fortuitously cranky paths with Cesar Vivanco, “Herzog’s right-hand man,” who introduced him to a loyal story of Carlos Fermín Fitzcarrald while aiding with prolongation of Aguirre, a Wrath of God. Later they will bond with a film’s writer Walter Saxer, who now owns an Iquitos hotel named for a film, and one of a stars, who owns a circuitously bar. (After seeing, pleasantness of Blank’s documentary, how many labor Saxer put into Fitzcarraldo, it’s unhappy to learn he doesn’t consider they done a really good film.)

But for all these connectors (not to discuss a stupid quasi-performance art stunts that leave them looking like self-involved “ugly Americans”), a 3 friends never come tighten to a turn of desirous stupidity that caused a rubber nobleman to transport a liner over a mountain, that desirous a filmmaker to do a same while putting his predestine in Klaus Kinski’s hands, that perplexed a extremely saner Les Blank, who followed Herzog into a jungle. The movie’s many inspiring elements are ones that competence have occurred during any long-form, no-safety-net walkabout, like a approach they bond with Peruvian passengers and organisation on a cursed vessel they take adult a Amazon. It takes dual prolonged voyages for a Americans to find a genuine tie with these locals. How many deeper would this confront have been if they hadn’t been dreaming by perplexing to get a bit of their idol’s fable to massage off on them?


Production company: Edward R. Pressman Film

Director: Sam Pressman

Producers: Edward R. Pressman

Directors of Photography: Sam Pressman, Harley Adams, Luke Wigren

Editor: Charalambis Haralambidis

Venue: International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, Havana



79 minutes