“Once more New York. To dub Venom. Arthur Penn wants me for a film, I turn him down. I’ve turned down Fellini and Visconti and Pasolini as well as Ken Russell and Liliana Cavani – usually because of the money. And I’d have turned down Eisenstein and Kurosawa for the same reason. By now I’ve made over 250 movies and turned down over a thousand”.
(Klaus Kinski in Kinski Uncut, Bloomsbury Publishing plc, London, 1997, p307)
According to IMDB Klaus Kinski made 20 more films after Venom so I guess Klaus’s final total would have been over 270 if he was really keeping count; there are only 135 films listed on IMDB so I don’t know what the other 135 films are. I’m looking into it. Well, I will be when I’ve managed to track down the others first (with English subtitles where necessary). My plan is to try and see them all and review them.
Why? Because I realised that Klaus Kinski was in so many films I watch. I love all sorts of films – from art house through to trash. Klaus was in some of the good stuff (mainly the Werner Herzog films, actually…) and in a lot of the bad stuff – but however bad the films have been, Klaus has always been more than a pleasure to watch. Eventually I started seeking out films he appeared in. One day I was talking to my friend about what a great actor Klaus Kinski was and we got onto talking about the bad films. I said: “Sometimes even Klaus can’t save a film.” It became my catchphrase. And when the friend made me a card with this picture on it (see below), he became my boyfriend.
But, anyway, back to Klaus. I’ve been fascinated with him ever since I found Kinski Uncut, which is one of the most enjoyable and highly amusing autobiographies I’ve ever read. If you’ve not yet read it I suggest you get a copy ASAP – mine is well-thumbed, as Klaus said to the actress (sorry, that’s another catchphrase…). It’s a mine of information – how reliable that information is, I do not know, but I’ll be looking into that as well.
During a recent trip to Berlin (which became a bit of a Klaus Kinski pilgrimage, with me traipsing from one Klaus related venue to another) I bought two more books about Klaus: Klaus Kinski by Peter Geyer, Suhrkamp BasisBiographie, 2006 and Kinski Die Biographie by Christian David, Aufbau Taschenbuch, Berlin, 2006. Unfortunately for me they are both in German and my German is a bit rusty to say the least. Nonetheless, I’ll try my best with the information I have available to me and hopefully I’ll see some great and some not so great films along the way and get to write some silliness about them. Klaus wouldn’t mind; he’d probably say the scripts were feebleminded anyway. Or, more likely, something much filthier than that.
Anyway, this blog is expressing my admiration for the wonderful, and some might say, wasted talents of Klaus Kinski – possibly my favourite actor and certainly one of my favourite loveable lunatics. Ich liebe Kinski!
I hope you enjoy the blog but if you have anything to add or any other information about Klaus, his life, his films, &c, please do post comments. Tschüß!
Postscript: January 2013
Sadly what started out as fun has ended very badly. Recently allegations of sexual abuse were made against Klaus Kinski and these must be taken seriously. Despite the fact that Kinski was undoubtedly an incredibly talented actor, it would appear that he was not such a great man. For me this has been utterly disappointing – I invested a lot of time, effort, love and money into working on this blog and writing about someone who was an idol to me. He is now a fallen idol and I feel very, very disappointed, disgusted and upset by this.
Other Kinski websites have suggested that I shouldn’t have been surprised or shocked by the news, but I would say to them that comments like that say more about them than they do about me. Perhaps it is naive to want to see the best in someone and to discount their own claims of wild behaviour as mere exaggeration or just falsehoods, but it is far worse to say that you were not shocked by the news at all – that you always suspected Kinski was capable of this – and to have glorified him anyway. That is a sad thought.
So after two and a half years or so of Du dumme Sau! it all comes to an end. Lesson learnt: don’t have heroes.