Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski
DVD - Image B+ Sound B+
BD - Image B+ Sound B+
directed by Werner Herzog
by Walter Chaw My Best Fiend is Werner Herzog trying to dispel some of the myths surrounding his career by magnifying a few of the myths surrounding Klaus Kinski's. As such, it feels a lot more like a cheap shot than like a tribute, burying as it does Kinski's indisputable genius beneath a lot of documentary evidence that Kinski was a slavering lunatic. And though Herzog betrays a definite affection for Kinski (nowhere more so than in a hilarious/warm reminiscence offered to the very proper German couple living in the apartment once shared by the director and actor), more often the piece is given to obfuscating outtakes and anecdotes. Consider the eclipsing impact that B-roll footage of a raving Kinski on the set of Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Herzog's comments about the natives offering to kill the actor for him have on Kinski's astonishingly reserved, haunted performance in the film. If you've never seen Aguirre, you'd think that Kinski was awful in it--and if you have seen Aguirre, your mind begins to blur what's actually on the screen. It's subtle, but it starts to resemble a snowjob akin to the belief, held by most (even those who've seen the films), that Halloween and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are splatter flicks, when in fact there's more blood in Psycho than in those two films combined.