German film director Werner Herzog and the late international film star, Klaus Kinski, had a deep love-hate relationship with one another. As artists, this fueled their work together and they will both be remembered primarily for their joint film efforts. Indeed, throughout the documentary made by Herzog, the one still alive, he seems to be lacking half of himself when he is onscreen. He also seems to be as much trying to reclaim the best parts of himself as much as he is trying to come to final terms with his relationship with Kinski. Unfortunately, those best parts probably died with Kinski. Each man believed the other one was mad and a megalomaniac. Certainly neither man was like a "normal" person if you recall their film work together, all of it superb but obsessed.
Every time Kinski's face comes onto the screen in the documentary, I remembered how beautiful or ugly he could make himself appear. His face is one artists everywhere would love to paint, draw, sculpt... whatever. That people were drawn to him and repelled by him off-camera, in equal measure, should really come as no surprise. That he could embody both characteristics within seconds of one another before the camera defined his brilliance as an actor. I think Kinski got the better end of the deal. He lived life exactly under his own terms for 56 years and then died, apparently of natural causes, totally spent. It was probably like a regular person's living to be 100! Herzog, however, is left to go on and it is clear that he is not the artist he once was without his muse, his best fiend, Kinski. This was an absolutely fascinating film and I highly recommend it.
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