Der regisseur und der schauspieler

I have a film recommendation for you all, it’s a fantastic documentary by the brilliant German director Werner Herzog called My Best Fiend (Mein liebster Feind – Klaus Kinski in Herzog’s native tongue).

In the film Herzog revisits, both physically and in memory, the places where he made films with one of his great muses, Klaus Kinski. He made five features with Kinski and they still stand as some of his best work; but the process of committing the his vision to film was never smooth sailing. The documentary explores this as Herzog gives warts-and-all descriptions of events on set and describes their relationship in depth. It’s essentially the story of two huge characters who are brimming with self-confidence and were destined to clash but knew that the work they created together was (maybe) worth the pain.

This is an excellent documentary for anyone who is fan or either Herzog or Kinski, but also for any film enthusiasts who enjoy seeing behind the curtain or for anyone who just likes seeing two humans stretching each other to their mental breaking points. There is an brilliant piece of film history tucked away in there in a section where Herzog talks about having to re-cast a film part way into filming. He has to bring Kinski on board to play the lead having resisted originally casting him, Kinski plays the part in such a way that he essentially replaced two other actors and their roles, one of whom was Mick Jagger. We are given a direct comparison of the scenes and the different approaches taken by the actor and the rock star.

Here is the trailer and although split in to two or three videos, I believe the whole film is on YouTube:

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