My Best Fiend | Chicago Reader

My Best Fiend

Werner Herzog's surprisingly slim and relatively impersonal 1999 feature charts his relationship with the mad actor Klaus Kinski on the five features they made together. Though Herzog has plenty to say about Kinski's tantrums on the Peru locations of Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo and even interviews other witnesses on the same subject, he says next to nothing about his own involvement—such as why he hired Kinski in the first place or how the overreaching heroes Kinski played for Herzog were clearly modeled after the director, metaphorically speaking. Like many other Herzog features, this carries a certain morbid fascination but provides little edification; Kinski's extensive career apart from Herzog is barely acknowledged. 95 min.

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