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also known as Mein liebster Feind Klaus Kinski

My Best Fiend1999

  • 4.3
Director Werner Herzog and late actor Klaus Kinski made five films together over a fifteen-year period, including such mutual career highlights as FITZCARRALDO, NOSFERATU and AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD. As much as this collaboration benefitted them both, the partnership was fraught with off-screen drama. This was primarily because the late Kinski was as unpredictable, maddening and sometimes violent a personality as he was a fascinatingly charismatic camera presence. Herzog's own documentary looks back on this tempestuous artistic union in which each side occasionally swore to kill the other. Astonishing behind-the-scenes footage shows Kinski raging at his director and anyone else within reach. At one point we see him club a Peruvian extra, the man still bearing the scar he'd received (through a protective metal helmet!) a quarter-century later. Elsewhere, Herzog recounts tribal natives on set helpfully offering to murder the ever-combative German thespian. Yet we also witness moments of relaxed, genuine affection between star and director as well as admiring reminiscences from co-workers like FITZCARRALDO's glamorous romantic interest Claudia Cardinale. He may have been near-impossible to work with but, as MY BEST FIEND vividly reminds, Klaus Kinski was a complete original and, in his Herzog films, a performer of extraordinary magnetism. - Dennis Harvey

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2 members like this review

Fascinating and rather appalling. Here you see that the puppet (Klaus Kinski) was totally manipulated by the puppeteer (Werner Herzog).

Member Reviews (13)

Fascinating and rather appalling. Here you see that the puppet (Klaus Kinski) was totally manipulated by the puppeteer (Werner Herzog).

2 members like this review
top reviewer

I always thought Kinski was strange. Now I know he was truly a bizarre and troubled person. Brilliant and criminal. Not sure he should be revered though...

1 member likes this review

Engaging documentary about a volatile relationship between a mercurial director and his mad star.

1 member likes this review

The fever and intoxication of the art process is what this film is about. Not abstract, but inside an extraordinary shooting a film in impossible conditions. Sometimes hard to watch, but worth, like a bad dream that has some indistinctual attraction.

1 member likes this review
top reviewer

Having only heard of this enigmatic legend, and not knowing of him, I was intrigued by this film. He is still as attractive and charismatic as he is frightening and repulsive. I do wish that it weren't made by Herzog, though, because how can we know this is unbiased? But then it wouldn't be "My Best Friend." The charming of the butterfly says it all.

top reviewer

For someone who "burned all the extra footage" from his films, he seems to have kept just enough to reflect on what is often hard to appreciate while it is happening.

A special film and a must-see for any student of the possibility

inherent in serious cinema and alltheway art.

At the beginning of this film, one will wonder if Kinski was actually as nuts as Herzog claimed. Herzog's demeanor can easily betray an unfamiliar onlooker's perception of him. Truth to be told, he is as equally as turbulent as Kinski. In contrast to Kinski's prominent madness though, Herzog is in control and able to use his tumult in a very productive manner. Herzog is to Kinski as lightning is to thunder. Their relationship is so unnerving and yet so beautiful. Watch this film and you will experience the emotional palette of human existence.

A fascinating movie. Here we see Herzog the documentarian dissecting and analyzing one of his great artistic muses, Klaus Kinski. While there is obviously an inherent bias in that only one half of this mutually beneficial partnership is telling the story, the movie still paints a compelling portrait of Kinski. A fascinating portrait of two great artists, and two megalomaniacs, who can't help but elevate each other's art, despite each of their inherent egotism.

I did not watch it !

Fascinating study of 2 complicated p, clever and driven artists.

A great director, but an actor the likes of. we may never see again.

Herzog and Kinski - Now that was a team!