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A Match Made In Hell,
This review is from: Herzog Deluxe Box Set (DVD)
It is said that all drama stems from conflict and there was certainly no shortage of it between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski. Their relationship reminds me of a troubled romance that is doomed to eventually fall apart, but ignites with such passion when the two are together that it's more than worth the grief. One would expect an arrangement of this nature to result in one or two films before the rift became so great between director and actor that they could no longer tolerate one another. Yet, there exists an undeniable sense of brotherhood between these cinematic legends that underlies their artistic struggle.
I can't tell you how pleased I am to have this set after all these years. Including "My Best Fiend" in this set is absolutely essential for a complete appreciation of the unique relationship Herzog and Kinski shared. As has been mentioned before regarding the documentary, there is a sense of one-sided storytelling as Herzog lays out Kinski's many flaws. And, yes, one has to wonder just which man had the larger ego after hearing some of Herzog's rather polished explanations. While it would have been nice to have Kinski there to argue his side of the story, it's still a unique and fascinating look into the creative lives of two very different sort of men.
Of the films themselves, I'm most fond of Nosferatu and Woyzeck, but Aguirre, the Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo are truly magnificent epics. I just have to find myself in a particular mood to watch the latter, where the former always hold my attention. In my opinion, Woyzeck is the most overlooked of the Herzog/Kinski collaborations. Certainly Cobra Verde is an inferior film, but it at least has a reputation. Considering Woyzeck was finished in just 18 days with only 27 cuts, I like to think of it as a little miracle.
I've seen Kinski in other films and I've seen works by Herzog without Kinski and it's clear to me that, with a few exceptions, their best work came when they worked together. So, do yourself a favor and pick up this set, then settle in for some intense viewing. And, whatever you do, don't pass on the documentary!