- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 1 hours, 40 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: August 15, 2000
- Originally Released: 1999
- Label: Starz / Anchor Bay
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.77
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.77
- Dolby Surround - English
- Dolby Surround - German
- Subtitles - English - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Memorable Quotes and Dialog:
"There were times when Kinski would behave more instinctively and noticed that he was going too far. And in those moments, thank God, he became cowardly. There was one occasion on the Rio Nanay, at the end of the AGUIRRE shoot, and as usual when he didn't know his lines properly, as so often, he was looking for a victim. Suddenly he started shouting like crazy, 'You swine!,' meaning the camera assistant, 'He was grinning!' He told me I should fire him on the spot, but I said 'No, of course I'm not going to fire him, the whole crew would quit out of solidarity.' So he just went and packed his things...he was so absolutely serious about leaving at once that he would just walk off the set; he packed everything into a speedboat. And I knew he'd broken his contracts 30, 40, 50 times already. So I went up to him very calmly...by the way, I didn't have a gun, he just made that up later to cast a better light on himself. So I went up to him and said, 'You can't do this, the film is more important than our personal feelings...and it's even more important than us mere mortals. It's impossible to do something like this. You can't do it.' I told him I had a rifle, and he would only make it as far as the next bend in the river before he had eight bullets in his head...the ninth would be for me."
- Werner Herzog
Chicago Sun-Times - 02/11/2000
"...As a meditation by a director on an actor, it is unique..."
USA Today - 07/07/2000
"...There's lots of remarkable footage..."
Werner Herzog directed this documentary about the puzzling relationship between himself and actor Klaus Kinski. Beginning with their apocalyptic first meeting at age 13 and continuing through AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD and their subsequent films together, MY BEST FIEND reveals the deep trust involved in maintaining such a powerful love-hate relationship as the glue that keeps them from following up on their plans to murder each other. Candid and intimate interviews with Kinski's costars are interspersed with rare and compelling behind-the-scenes and behind-the-camera footage from such classic Kinski/Herzog collaborations as AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD and FITZCARRALDO.
Herzog himself dryly narrates as the magnetic and destructive energy that resulted when Herzog and Kinski clashed is contrasted with footage depicting their, at times, gentle and brotherly love, in this portrait of two artistic visionaries feeding off each other. From his early days as an aspiring and intense young actor to stints as a ranting and raving performance artist taunting audiences with claims that he was Jesus, Kinski's extraordinary and extravagant persona comes across strongly in Herzog's double-edged love letter of a film.
German filmmaker Werner Herzog directs this documentary about the tempestuous relationship between himself and actor Klaus Kinski.
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- Theatrical release: November 1999 (New York City).