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Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999)

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In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour ... See full summary »

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Werner Herzog
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Werner Herzog ... Himself - Narrator / Interviewer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claudia Cardinale ... Herself
Justo González Justo González ... Himself
Paul Hittscher Paul Hittscher ... Himself (archive footage)
Mick Jagger ... Himself - Wilbur (archive footage)
Klaus Kinski ... Himself (archive footage)
Tom Luddy ... Himself (archive footage)
Eva Mattes ... Herself
Thomas Mauch ... Himself (archive footage)
Benino Moreno Placido Benino Moreno Placido ... Himself
Beat Presser Beat Presser ... Himself
Jason Robards ... Fitzcarraldo (archive footage)
Guillermo Ríos Guillermo Ríos ... Himself (archive footage)
Walter Saxer Walter Saxer ... Himself (archive footage)
Lucki Stipetic Lucki Stipetic ... Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

In the 1950s, an adolescent Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, forty-eight-hour fit of rage, Kinski completely destroyed the bathroom. From this chaos, a violent, love-hate, profoundly creative partnership was born. In 1972, Herzog cast Kinski in Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972). Four more films would follow. In this personal documentary, Herzog traces the often violent ups and downs of their relationship, revisiting the various locations of their films and talking to the people they worked with. Written by L.H. Wong <lhw@sfs.org.sg>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Germany | UK | USA

Language:

German | English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 October 1999 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

My Best Fiend See more »

Filming Locations:

Peru See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,677, 7 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$95,612, 27 August 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In some footage of one of his notorious on-set flare-ups, Klaus Kinski yells at Werner Herzog that he's "a dwarf director!" This apparently random insult is a specific reference to Herzog's movie Auch Zwerge haben klein angefangen (1970). See more »

Quotes

Werner Herzog: Every grey hair on my head, I call Kinski.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Eu Eu Eu José Lewgoy (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Mein liebster Feind - Klaus Kinski (1999) - Ist mein liebling Dokumentarfilm
2 March 2007 | by G_a_l_i_n_aSee all my reviews

Werner Herzog: Every grey hair on my head, I call Kinski.

The documentary made by Werner Herzog tells about the legendary love-hate relationship between the director who was ready to climb to Hell for his every movie and border-line insane genius actor Klaus Kinski who might have been one of the creatures from Hell that Herzog had to face. It is hard to imagine two people more different than Herzog and Kinski: "...stone and waves, the coldest ice and hottest flames have more in common, differ less" but they both were driven and obsessed artists. Famous for his wild and ferocious talent and temperament to match, Kinski was incredibly difficult to work with. He wrote about himself, "I am a wild animal born in captivity, in a zoo but where beast would have claws, I have talent".

Kinski's talent was fully realized in five films that he made with Werner Herzog over a fifteen-year working period, starting with astounding "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1973), and then following with "Fitzcarraldo," "Nosferatu" (1979), inspired by Murnau's silent vampire classic; "Woyzeck" (1979), about a 19th century army private who seems mad to others because he looks and acts so differently from them, and "Cobra Verde" (1988). It is impossible to imagine any other actor starring in these films and they are without doubt the best Kinski ever made (and he made hundreds of films). Thanks to the Herzog's documentary we are able to learn what exactly went on behind the stunning images and unforgettable performances. According to Herzog, "people like Marlon Brando are just kindergarden comparing to Kinski. He is mad and unpredictable." They liked each other, they hated each other, and they respected each other at the same time making plans to murder each other.

Kinski, who respected Herzog, and valued his friendship, confessed to the director that in his autobiography he would describe their relationship in not very flattering terms - otherwise, the crowd would not read it. Herzog recalls how they both would sit together at the bench after the shooting and discuss what Kinski would write in his book. I am curious if they discussed and agreed upon the following passage and if Herzog helped Kinski with some of the colorful metaphors: "I absolutely despise this murderous Herzog! Huge red ants should p**s into his lying eyes, gobble up his balls, penetrate his a**hole and eat his guts."

Even after watching the fascinating documentary, it is difficult to fully understand the relationship between two giants but as Herzog admits, the only thing that counts is what we see on the screen and what we see is amazing.


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