Short Film: Take a Cardboard Trip Up Herzog’s Amazon with ‘Fitzcardboardaldo’ and ‘The Corrugation of Dreams’

Short Film of the Day

Why Watch? You may think you know Fitzcarraldo, but just you wait. New York-based animator Robin Frohardt, inspired by the legendary difficulties that plagued the production of Werner Herzog‘s Amazonian classic, decided to remake the film with one of the most easily pliable materials available: cardboard. The result is her three-minute trailer for Fitzcardboardaldo, a hardy paper journey into the jungle. Her recreation of a handful of shots from the original epic is spot on, with a few moments of humor tossed in for good measure. It’s impeccably made, down to the last twist of the ropes as the steamship is lifted atop a cardboard hill.

However, it seems that even making this 3-minute homage was far from easy. Thus stricken with her own production difficulties, Frohardt went on to spoof Les Blank‘s Burden of Dreams as well. The result is a 4-minute “documentary” entitled The Corrugation of Dreams, in which a record of Fitzcardboardaldo‘s production is combined with a cardboard recreation of some of the best Herzog moments in Blank’s film. Sending a miniature steamship up a fake mountain seems almost as difficult as the real thing, especially with intimidating household cats intervening on set. Frohardt’s stand-in for the German visionary director is also perfect, complete with sad and frustrated eyes that drive home the absurd monologue about shrieking birds and unfinished creation.

The two films together are an absolute triumph of homage, and a testament to the boundless potential of short animated cinema.

What Will It Cost? Fitzcardboardaldo is just over 3 minutes, and The Corrugation of Dreams clocks at in at about 4 minutes.


The Corrugation of Dreams

Daniel Walber is a freelance critic living in Brooklyn. He holds a MA in cinema studies from New York University, loves any movie under 80 minutes, and is gay for Bette Davis.

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