Herzog’s ecstatic landscapes—be they the chaotic Amazonian jungles and rivers in Aguirre the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo, the scorched earth of the Kuwaiti oil fields in Lessons of Darkness (1992), or the crystalline surface of Antarctica and entropic depths of the Ross Sea in Encounters at the End of the World (2007)—are treated as the greatest of symbols. Their artistic purpose, as filtered through Herzog’s lens, is to mirror the pursuits and fixations of man.
Miloš Forman’s Amadeus is the story of a rivalry, and it’s easiest to describe that feud as occurring between Salieri, the genteel craftsman, and Mozart, the buffoonish genius. But, more precisely, the feud is between Salieri and God, on whom he pins the blame for his torment.