My Best Fiend

Director: Werner Herzog
Year Released: 1999
Rating: 3.0

German eccentric Werner Herzog gives a testimonial about his work with madman Klaus Kinski on five different films, both complimenting him and criticizing him in equal turns. Unlike others, I don't feel like this is a documentary of total ill-will towards Kinski - in fact, it's all a part of the myth-building that Herzog's made a career of, subjecting his cast and crew to often unreasonable filming conditions, neglecting everyone's safety for his own mad vision, making movies that exist as cinematic art and performance art. The truth is always somewhere in the middle: Herzog knew Kinski was an asshole, but he also knew that he was the greatest performer he'd ever work with (as close as he'd ever get to his 'twin soul'), which is evident in the juxtaposition of the footage of Fitzcarraldo with a somber, out-of-place Mick Jagger and Jason Robards and the same scene with Klaus, who had triple the energy of both of them, and was the only one who could play the role. They were a bickering couple that loved each other, were made for each other, but couldn't stand each other.