>At the end of Fitzcarraldo (1982), after so much effort has come to nothing, the title character still finds joy. He is a successful loser. A man of dreams and the joy of dreams. I want to be like Fitzcarraldo. I want to be indomitable.
I love this film. It is bizarre and amazing. It is also a wild and woolly romp into the insanity of making the impossible come to life, like the modern Prometheus’ dream. This is true for both Fitzcarraldo and for Herzog, the true Fitzcarraldo. But I want to be Fitzcarraldo. I want to be Herzog. I want to take on the big dream and live through it.
Or more importantly, I wan to be the successful loser. Not that I want to be a loser. But I know that I will lose. I am already a loser of sorts. I have already lost many things, sometimes volitionally, sometimes not. But I want, I need, to find joy in whatever I do and wherever I end up.
Remember where Fitzcarraldo started. He was a man close to incurable insanity. The scales had nearly tipped against him. His dream ate at him, tormented him, nearly destroyed him.
And yet, when he actually did what was insane, what was the process of his dream, he found joy. There is a lesson here. Fitzcaraldo did what he was made to do. He plunged in to the substance of his existence. He lived out his fate. He lost. He found joy. In this sense one could say that Fitzcarraldo’s dream was a kind of grace, a blessing as it were, bestowed upon him like near death experience brings about a new love of life.
And then, when he returned, Fitzcarraldo found, once again, another uncertain future, but that’s another story. And that is life, and maybe opera.