My Best Fiend

Werner Herzog

8/10 (factually doubtful)

This is a fascinating documentary that Werner Herzog made about his infamous relationship with volatile genius actor Klaus Kinski. The entire film is utterly engrossing and a must-see for fans of one or both of them, but I would highly recommend that you see at least two of their collaborations first (“Aguirre, the Wrath of God” is the best, but also worthwhile are “Fitzcarraldo,” “Nosferatu the Vampire,” “Woyzeck,” and “Cobra Verde”). Otherwise you will lack an important context for Herzog’s discussion.

There’s not much else to say about it except that it’s an extremely enlightening experience. The reason I don’t give it higher marks is that I don’t entirely trust Herzog as an unbiased documentarian. Having seen films like “Grizzly Man,” “The White Diamond,” and also knowing the background of the “Aguirre” and “Fitzcarraldo” productions, I consider Herzog a rather manipulative and unstable artist. He may be almost as crazy as Kinski was, just not as outrageous about it.

So here you have one megalomaniac telling you about his crazy relationship with another. You can’t exactly trust everything that comes out of his mouth.

28 March 2010

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