Hideous Kinski | Film | The Guardian
Werner Herzog and His Best Fiend, Klaus Kinski Kinski in his two most acclaimed motion pictures – Fitzcarraldo and Aguirre, The Wrath of God. In Herzog produced a documentary about their tormented relationship. My Best Fiend is a German documentary film written and directed by Werner Herzog, about his tumultuous yet productive relationship with German actor Klaus Kinski. Kinski left one of his Jesus tours to star in Herzog's film, Aguirre, the Wrath of God (). This was the first of five films that the two would make. His continual recasting of the outrageous actor Klaus Kinski serves as an . to speak with this person about his resignation and relationship with death. At one point on the set of “Aguirre: the Wrath of God,” the Indians living.
By all accounts it seems Kinski was the madman, not Herzog, and that Herzog merely escalated his behavior in order to keep the actor in line.
First we are shown a long line of explorers descending a mountain, then various shots of the expedition moving through woods, and then close-ups of the raging river they must cross. It is as if Herzog has transported us into the world of the Spanish Conquistadors and their search for Aztec Gold.
This search is futile, by the way, as the film opens with a narration explaining how this story is a myth invented by the aboriginals to lure the Spanish into the jungles of the Amazon. From the very beginning we know that everything about this movie is doomed. It is a terrifying note to begin a film with. The next terrifying note, and possibly the most terrifying of all, is the introduction of the main character: Don Lope de Aguirre.
He is a soldier in the company searching for the gold and from the first frame we see of him we can see madness bubbling in his eyes. Whether this madness was a front worn by the actor, or the nature of the actor itself is difficult to say.
From the word go Kinski has the eyes of a crazy man, and this fact becomes more evident with every word, every gesture, and every moment.
I was prepared for the ultimate and I told him when this incident occurred that this was not a joke and I had made up my mind months ago.
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I wouldn't need a second of deliberation and this was what was going to happen next. If he took a boat, if he left, he'd be shot.
I know I would have done it. But, most of the time, his tantrums were a protest against anything that threatened to supplant him as the centre of attention. Every single day I had to think of new ways of domesticating the beast,' says Herzog. Although Kinski acknowledged that his best work was with Herzog - not least because the German was almost alone among more than directors he worked with who could endure the actor for more than a few days - the actor was venomous about the director. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth he is, the less I can get rid of him.
Murderous feud on the film set
In fact, he came from a well-to-do family of pharmacists, but he reinvented himself so successfully as the mad poet-actor that few of his fans discovered the truth.
Herzog was 14 years old when he first met Kinski, who moved into the Munich apartment where Herzog and his mother lived. In My Best FiendHerzog visits that apartment, now occupied by a prosperous, middle-aged couple and recalls Kinski's violent tantrums when his shirts were not ironed properly or when a critic's praise for one of his performances was not judged sufficiently effusive.
I believe that I was the only one who was not afraid.
I was rather in stunned amazement, like somebody watching a tornado wreaking havoc on the landscape. But I do believe that poetry, for example, or cinema has ways to discover a very deep, inherent truth, other strata of truth that are possible to discover,' says Herzog. Herzog is in Cologne to work on Invinciblehis first feature film for 13 years, the story of a Jewish strongman in the s which stars Tim Roth and starts shooting in Latvia in two weeks.
For Herzog, the line between features and documentaries is blurred and, although his next three or four films will be for the cinema, he does not regret that he spent the s making documentaries. And some of these works are better than any feature film I ever did. And I keep saying that Fitzcarraldo is my best documentary. His first 12 films, including Aguirre, Wrath of Godwere shot with a camera he stole from a film school in Munich and he financed his film studies by working night shifts as a welder.
My Best Fiend - Wikipedia
His advice to young filmmakers is to take their destiny in their own hands and to capitalise on the new opportunities offered by digital technology to make films more cheaply than ever before. You can do it on digital video cameras.
Look at the Danish, how they are doing it. You don't have to follow the rules of their manifesto, their Dogme, forget about it. But you do it yourself and if the film is really good, you'll find the money to transfer it on to real film and exhibit it in theatres.
Nowadays, it is much easier to make a long feature film with enough intensity and enough imagination and a story that has some calibre. And all the rest that is needed is an able-bodied person who would work as a taxi driver, as a bouncer in a sex club or whatever, to work for half the year and he would have the money and do it.
Just go for it,' he says.