The harmony of overwelming and collective murder

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Klaus Kinski in My Best Fiend.

The relationship between Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski is the subject of the documentary film My Best Fiend. Herzog has this to say about his friend.

He declared everything around here [the jungle] erotic but he never went near the jungle. We stayed for months in a camp in the jungle like this here very near by but he never so much as set foot in the jungle. Just once he penetrated it about 100 feet where a fallen tree lay. And of course the photographer had to go with him and had to take hundereds of photos of him tenderly embracing and copulating with this tree. He loved to show off this way.

Poses and paraphernalia where what mattered to him. He arrived here with high alpine gear which was far more important than the mountains themselves. His camouflage combat fatigues tailored by Yves Saint Laurent were much more important than any jungle. I think that Kinsky, and not only in this regard, was generously endowed with a fair share of natural stupidity.

During filming of Fitzcarraldo Herzog has this to say about his attitude to the jungle.

Of course we are challenging nature itself and it hits back, it just hits back that's all, and thats grandiose about it and we have to accept that it's much stronger than we are. Kinsky always says it's full of erotic elements. I don't see it so much erotic I see it more full of obscenity. It's just... and nature here is vile and base. I wouldn't see anything erotic-al here, I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and growing and... just rotting away. Of course there is a lot of misery, but it is the same misery that is all around us. The trees here are in misery and the birds are in misery. I don't think they sing, they just screech in pain.

Taking a close look at what's around us there is some sort of a harmony, it is the harmony of overwelming and collective murder. But when I say this I say this all full of admiration for the jungle. It is not that I hate it, I love it. I love it very much. But I love it against my better judgement.

This transcript was taken from the english audio track of My Best Fiend.