In this personal documentary, the director recalls the highs, the lows and the heated quarrels that marked his relationship with Kinski, returning to the very apartment in Munich where they first met and revisiting all the places where they made their films.
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The volatile and incendiary working relationship and bizarre friendship of director Werner Herzog and actor Klaus Kinski is examined here by Herzog. These are the film stories of legend both tall and true. Though both parties reject their entwined legacies one can see the magic their collaborations left in the films left behind. A great film for cinephiles and novices both.
Sure, I suppose it's "minor" by definition, but don't miss how much this cinephile treat adds to the Herzog canon: an older man's reverie on a life lived; a personal look at creative madness; and a truly grand example of Herzog's approach to non-fiction cinema, where his interest lies not in the dry reportage of facts but in spotting the poetic links that appear after the chips have landed. One of his best docs.
As hard as it could be to work with Kinski, I think there's something Herzog recognized and admired, because Herzog is a bit crazy himself. I read Kinski's autobiography 'All I need is love', and it gave me a bit of insight into his thinking.
Herzog's dual and contradictory partnership with Kinski is here exposed, a thoughtful account of their labyrinthic and synergic relantionship. It is also a self-portrait of Herzog in that, in his quest to scrutinise Kinski, reveals his ability for understanding, love and compassion, qualities often found at the heart of his work. The film also complements the legendary intra-story behind Aguirre and Fitzcarraldo.
"Every human being is an abyss. You get dizzy, looking down." You learn a lot about Herzog too as he relates various memories of Kinski. "Towards the end of the shooting, the Indians offered to kill Kinski for me." Some wonderful moments and loved hearing Popul Vuh again. "If I, Aguirre, want the birds to drop dead from the trees the birds will drop dead from the trees. I am the Wrath of God."