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Film: My Best Fiend
Sunday, February 1, 2009 - 3:00pm
Director Werner Herzog's lively documentary about his longtime working relationship with mercurial actor Klaus Kinski, is a fascinating film which captures the deranged dialectic of creativity in extraordinary fashion. Over a 15-year span, these two artists-neither of them shrinking violets-teamed up for five pictures: Aguirre, The Wrath of God, Nosferatu, Woyzeck, Fitzcarraldo and Cobra Verde. Their battles, fierce and sometimes life-threatening, have already entered the ranks of cinema lore and might have gone on for another 15 years or longer, had Kinski not died in 1991. My Best Fiend is a genuine love/hate portrait of Kinski that acknowledges his acting talent but doesn't hesitate to capture his notorious behavior. Meanwhile, Claudia Cardinale, who starred with Kinski in Fitzcarraldo, paints a glowing portrait of the actor and Eva Mattes, who appeared with him in Woyzeck, recalls him as a helpful colleague. More than likely, Kinski had charm off-screen, but saved his best venom for Herzog, who returned it in kind. That ambivalence is reflected in two sequences in My Best Fiend. One shows Herzog and Kinski hugging each other and laughing during a reunion at the Telluride Film Festival. The other reveals Kinski looking into the camera as a lovely butterfly alights on his hand, then on his face. It's a charming moment and Herzog has the grace to make it the documentary's final and most arresting image.

-- Film Journal International

My Best Fiend (1999 Werner Herzog)
Format: 35mm Film
Runtime: 95 minutes
When: January 30th & January 31st at 7:00 pm and 9:30pm, February 1st at 3:00 pm
Where: 5th Ave Cinema, 510 SW Hall St. @ PSU
Admission: Free for PSU Students, Faculty and Staff with ID; $2 for Other Students, Seniors and Children; $3 General Admission

For more information:

PSU Film Committee