Beat Presser Kinski exhibition in Bogotá until 30 June 2011!

Great news for South American Kinski fans, a selection of Beat Presser’s photographs of Klaus Kinski and Werner Herzog are now on display at MAMBO, the Museo de Arte Moderno in Bogotá, Columbia:  http://www.mambogota.com/mambo/interna_secciones.php?subtitulo=Actuales

(Photograph of Beat Presser by Oscar Pérez)

I don’t have many details to hand, so check out the website for opening times and admission prices &c.  I understand the exhibition is proving to be a great success and was originally planned to run for just two weeks but following the successful launch a couple of days ago, the exhibition will now run until 30 June 2011.  Plenty of time to get yourself over there!

In the meantime, Beat Presser has kindly sent some press articles about the exhibition which consists of 31 amazing, huge photographs (100cm by 150cm), which you can see from his stills below and also from this YouTube clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqqsjLv3nsA 

http://elespectador.com/impreso/cultura/articulo-265479-el-cine-quieto-de-beat-presser

Beat Presser seems to be keeping himself busy with the Kinski exhibition still running in Münster, this exhibition in Bogotà and the various photography courses he is running at the Universidad Nacional.  Go and see some of his work if you can, or buy the Kinski catalogue, which you can find on Amazon.

Thanks to Beat Presser for telling Du dumme Sau! about the exhibition, for sending through the articles and these stills he has taken of the exhibition at MAMBO:

PHOTOGRAPHS COPYRIGHT OF BEAT PRESSER

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Kinski-Herzog Easter Card

Here’s an Easter card I made for my boyfriend – it’s Klaus Kinski related of course.  Happy Easter holidays from Du dumme Sau!

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Klaus Kinski burns down the boathouse

Love Sounds episode from TV series The Hitchhiker, aka La musique adoucit les morts (Le Voyageur) (Dir David Wickes, 1984)

Basic plot: Kurt Hoffmann, a classical music composer, hires Eric Dunlap to create the ultimate sound system for him.  Whilst working for the Hoffmann’s, Eric takes a fancy to Kurt’s wife Veronica.  They begin an affair and the sound system Eric created betrays him by blasting out his and Veronica’s “love sounds” to the unsuspecting Kurt.  Kurt takes his revenge on his unfaithful wife and her lover but Eric’s creation has a life of its own – he’s put his soul into the machine – and it in turn takes its revenge on Kurt.

Cast: Kurt Hoffmann / The Maestro – Klaus Kinski; Veronica Hoffmann – Belinda Bauer; Eric Dunlap – Stephen Shellen; Geoffrey Butler – Ron Lee

Filming location: Unknown

Release date: 13 November 1984

Availability:   Not available on DVD, I purchased an old VHS video and a friend kindly converted it for me so I could take the screen caps (thanks, Tim!).  The video is fairly cheap if you can find it – mine cost a few quid from Amazon.  The video I got was called Dead-Time Stories Volume 3, which has 2 other short films on it (Face to Face and Last Scene) – the other films are worth a look but they are trashy so don’t expect too much from them… Each episode of The Hitchhiker was apparently introduced by a hitchhiker, but this aspect of the film is not included in the video version. 

The film in full – *SPOILER ALERT*:  I should tell you first that Lovesounds is only about 25 minutes long and although it’s from the TV series The Hitchhiker, each episode is self-contained, so this is in fact a short film.  I’m not mad keen on short films because I don’t like how they (generally) impart so much information in such a short time by using a kind of shorthand to tell/show you loads of details that they don’t really have enough time to cover. 

So we know that Kurt Hoffmann is a talented classical music composer because:

  • he’s called “The Maestro”
  • he has a bust in his dressing room
  • he has b+w photographs of himself looking eccentric but debonair on his dressing table
  • we can (vaguely) hear rehearsals through a speaker in his dressing room

But he is a bit of a tyrant and we know this because:

  • we can hear him bawling out the orchestra (we never actually get to see them, presumably because it would be way too expensive for this production)
  • he tells his assistant to sack the cellist even though she’s been with the orchestra for ten years

He’s also very impatient and we know this mainly because he keeps on going on about how long he’s been waiting to get his special sound system built.  Get a life, Kurt!

In short, I know I shouldn’t like Kurt too much.  But I do, primarily because he’s played by Klaus Kinski but also because he’s the only character in the film who is of any interest whatsoever.

Geoffrey Butler – what is there to say about a character who answers the telephone once and who tries to object (but is given short shrift) when Kurt tells him to sack the cellist.  Bit part.

Veronica Hoffmann – Kurt’s wife is young and pretty, like a better looking Isabelle Adjani.  But there’s not a lot more you can say about her.  At least for the first few minutes, on the surface Veronica’s marriage to Kurt appears to be happy.  But that’s the problem with Veronica, everything is on the surface and there doesn’t seem to be anything much underneath.  Apart from the hidden shallows, that is. 

She says her decision for marrying Kurt was based on the fact that she wouldn’t need to make any further decisions in life after that and wouldn’t have to think about what she wanted anymore as Kurt would do this on her behalf.  That said, she only has to think twice when the stereo systems/ electronic “whizzkid” Eric tries it on with her; he gets a slap in the face the first time and her bare breasts in his face the second time.  Love interest and nothing more than that.

Eric Dunlap – can be summarised as follows: big bad hairdo (a mullet with highlights); ugly footwear (black moccasins worn with white socks); very clingy/needy (he’s had one roll in the hay – well, laundry room actually – with Veronica and he’s already asking her why she’s not yet left her husband); a stereo systems/electronic “whizzkid” (apparently).  Eric reckons that his systems are so good because he doesn’t just build them; he “creates” them and “nurtures” them.  He builds up his role somewhat (embarrassed about being “the hired help”, maybe?) and hyperbolises his work, saying “It’s like a woman when she gives birth – I give birth.”  Erm, no you don’t, Eric!  “Then when I’m finished, I, erm, I leave a part of myself behind.”  Now, unless he’s impregnating all the housewives whose husbands pay him to “create” and “nurture” and “give birth” to systems for them, I’m not quite sure what he’s supposed to be leaving behind.  Apparently, though, it’s a part of his soul.  And there was silly old me thinking that he just went to Richer Sounds, bought whatever was on special offer and hooked it all up with a few cables!   

Eric is wet – he moons around Veronica and strokes his stereo system (he does, I’m not making it up!), whispers sweet nothings to it as if he’s trying to seduce it, calling it “baby” and almost begging it to work for him, “Don’t fail me this time, baby”.  I thought he was supposed to be the expert, but it seems that he just creates the machine and then the machine decides whether it wants to work for him or not.  And his flirtatious behaviour is so embarrassing that it’s no wonder Veronica pushes him in the sea.  Furthermore, please don’t let me have to see the kissing with tongues again (Eric is as eager as a dog and actually licks Veronica on the chin at one point) or the soft-focus love scenes that appear to have been lifted from a David Hamilton film.  Eric has very white buttocks.  Eric is a knobber.   

“Baby” / the revolutionary sound system – not a character, strictly speaking, but possibly an entity or some such.  “Baby” is a little bugger and won’t work when Kurt tries to log on but this is probably because he refers to the system as his “new toy” and because he is mean to Eric (the birth mum) and calls him incompetent (to be fair, he is though) and he doesn’t have much time for Veronica (to be fair, in his place neither would I).  “Baby” is a bit mischievous though as he/she/it (what gender is a stereo system, anyone know?) gives Kurt electrical shocks for getting annoyed when it doesn’t work.  I do love the fact that the effects and equipment are so basic though – it looks like a Tandy TRS-80 hooked up to a hi-fi and a shotgun directional mic.  And when “Baby” starts working and reacting (ahem! some lights flash on and off, that kind of thing) and voicing Eric’s thoughts (O, Veronica! I love you!), it’s all like a cross between Sparky’s Magic Piano, A Flock of Seagulls and a whale song recording.  And Eric must have made a big mistake when he created “Baby” because he/she/it ultimately gives him away to Kurt when he plays around with the directional mic and tunes in to Eric and Veronica’s “love sounds”.  O yeah, baby.

Kurt Hoffmann – you have to love Kurt even if just for his over-enthusiasm for a piece of crappy equipment.  The way he smiles his toothy grin and just indicates to Eric that he only wants to use the equipment and not have him explain at length how many watts of power are in each channel etc, he’s such a child.  That is Kurt all over – throwing tantrums (he tells Eric, “If you expect to be paid, you’d better perfect your performance before you invite an audience”), showing off to the boring middle-aged polyester wearing dinner guests, and having no time for anything that does not greatly interest him.  He and Veronica appear to be happily married but she quickly tires of his behaviour when she notices that he is more interested in his new machine than in her (“Well, nothing counts today but my new machine”); that he is most concerned that she wash the blood off her hands when she cuts herself on broken glass and not at all concerned that she might be in pain or need medical treatment; that he’s not interested enough to look at her outfit for the dinner party; that he dismisses her when the machine is working, telling her, “Please, darling, I want to listen to my music now.”  Of course that’s not enough reason for her to justify having an affair though, is it? 

But the storytellers want us to believe that Kurt is evil so they get Klaus Kinski to play him (good move!) and when he’s asked by Eric to pick a number for his log-on, naturally he picks 666.  He always gets his way, or so we’re told:  “The Maestro always gets his way”; “You’ll get your way, Kurt, you always do.”  That doesn’t make him evil as far as I’m concerned but I guess firebombing the boathouse when he discovers his wife and her mullet-haired lover in flagrante delicto possibly does. 

The whole scene leading up to this finale is amazing – Kurt is listening to his music on his new machine, waving his arms in the air as if conducting an orchestra and/or practising boy band dance moves, and then he decides to play around with his directional mic, as you do.  Eventually he tunes into Eric and Veronica who’ve been doing the soft-focus David Hamilton love scene stuff in the boathouse and at this point he realises what is happening and he runs like the clappers from the house into the garden and over to the boathouse.  My god, I wish I could have got a good enough screen capture but it just wasn’t clear enough – the sight of Klaus Kinski running so fast straight towards and past the camera is hilarious for some unknown reason.  Possibly because the film is so bad and yet he is still making an effort, which seems pointless somehow.

This scene allows for one of the typical Kinski-isms – looking through a window with bars on it (Klaus does this whenever he can, ie, whenever there is a window with bars available on set):

There is also ample opportunity throughout the film for my favourite Kinski-schtick – hands in pockets (Klaus does this whenever he can, ie, whenever he has pockets and whenever he can get away with keeping his hands in them).  I love the fact that he manages to keep his right hand in his pocket all the while that he is typing with his left hand:

And, just for my amusement really, here are some other hands in pockets pictures:

Anyway, going back to the finale – keeping you on tenterhooks, aren’t I? – yes, Kurt sees Eric’s white buttocks through the barred windows and goes bat-s*** crazy, locking the fornicators in the boathouse, spraying the building with gasoline and then setting fire to it.  Brilliant!  I can’t say they quite deserved that but who’s gonna miss them anyway?  He won’t want Veronica anymore as she’s just cuckolded him with mullet man and he doesn’t need the mullet man either as he’s already got the sound system working. 

But Kurt, who looks totally dejected after he’s burnt the lovers alive, poor thing, doesn’t realise that Eric had put part of his soul into the sound system and it’s now spoiling for a fight with the man who destroyed its maker.  First of all the machine switches itself on and starts replaying Eric and Veronica’s “love sounds” and when Kurt tries to switch the machine off, his sheet music flies off the piano, the lights all start switching on and off, and then the machine gives Kurt an electric shock which sends him flying across the room.  The sounds continue to taunt Kurt and he continues to try switching the machine off but it will not stop and so he tries to break the machine and winds up in a mess with more sparks flying from the machine, the cocktail cabinet exploding (uh?), blood all over his face and the fantastic grand finale – Kurt with his bloody face held in his hands, sitting on a chair which spins around faster and faster until his bust sculpture of a classical music composer EXPLODES!

That’s your lot.   Yes, it’s bad – but it’s so bad that it’s good.  I’ve seen it four times now and I’d watch it again.  So long as I can skip over the embarrassing love scenes; especially the chin sucking bit…

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Klaus Kinski in London and other stuff

Unfortunately Klaus Kinski was not a big fan of England – he thought the food was “rubbish” and said you “…can’t eat it without getting stomach cramps.  Everything is oversalted and hard or mushy.  As if it weren’t sick and arrogant enough that they don’t serve beer between two and six in the afternoon.  Just because some drunken slut of a queen had a sadistic idea that only she can get sloshed!  And then that fish and chips!”  That’s Klaus talking about his hatred of England in Kinski Uncut (Bloomsbury, London, 1997).  Brilliant!  

Anyway, after doing Klaus Kinski in Berlin (Pt 1), as I live in London I thought I ought to do a Klaus Kinski in London article – this is part one, I hope, as I would like to track down more information about where and when Klaus worked in the UK.  Excuse the fact that I only have two locations so far; there is work to be done here and if anyone has any suggestions or information on where Klaus worked in London (or thereabouts) then do contact me to let me know.  In the meantime, I went out armed with my Diana F+ camera to take some photos for the blog…

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Blakes Hotel London, 33 Roland Gardens, London SW7 3PF

I read an article from Ms London magazine about Klaus Kinski’s work on Nosferatu.  In the article (An everyday story of Creative Folk?, 14.05.79) the author, who had the improbable name of Minty Clinch, said that Klaus’ selected haunt during visits to London was Blakes Hotel.  So I had a look at the website:  http://www.blakeshotels.com/  It looks really stylish and just right for Klaus style glooming around, but, of course, when I went to visit it to take my own photographs for the blog it just happened to be surrounded with scaffolding; it did not look at all impressive.  I’m sure it’s still beautiful inside while they’re doing these renovations though, so don’t let that put you off booking a room – it’s a bit on the pricey side, but then it would be as nowadays people like Mickey Rourke and Gwyneth Paltrow stay there – apparently.  Ah, well, “Every once in a while you gotta roll the potato”, as Mickey Rourke once said – whatever that means!

 

I love the fact that the house across the road is reflected in the glass on the doors!

48 Lexham Gardens, London W8 5JA

Klaus played a slum landlord called Nikko in Gerry O’Hara’s The Pleasure Girls aka Die Goldpuppen (1965).  Nikko dated a young lady called Dee (played by Suzanna Leigh) who lived at 48 Lexham Gardens, which was one of Nikko’s properties.  In the film Klaus was never seen entering the property; he just rocked up in his posh car to call for his girlfriend or to drop her off at the house. 

The girls were supposed to live in the second floor flat – the one at the top of the first picture with the balcony.  And in a famous promotional shot from the film, the actress Francesca Annis can be seen leap frogging over one of the bollards on the corner of Lexham Walk and Lexham Gardens, pictured above.  See the Du dumme Sau! review of The Pleasure Girls at: https://locotigrero.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/klaus-kinski-gets-a-whipping/

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Finally, here is a Klaus Kinski Aguirre screenprint that my boyfriend made for me recently and I thought I should share here:

 

Another review follows early next week.

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Interview with Kinski Estate Archivist and Biographer Peter Geyer

Unbelievably I’d just managed to track down Jay Miracle’s KlausKinski.45Minutes film when I heard that a longer version was being released on the official Klaus Kinski Estate Edition DVD Kinski Talks 2 in April 2011.  Goddamnit, I need to buy another DVD!  When I get a copy of this I’ll review it, but in the meantime I managed to track down Peter Geyer, the Kinski Estate Archivist and Kinski biographer, who brings us such gems as Jesus Christus Erlöser and the Kinski Talks series.  He agreed to an interview and here it is:

DDS:  I understand that you were appointed the archivist / administrator of Klaus Kinski’s Estate in 1999 and that since then you have worked on the official Kinski Estate releases, such as the DVDs – most notably Jesus Christus Erlöser, which was a major achievement, and the Kinski Talks DVDs – plus the book of Klaus’ poetry Fieber, the Suhrkamp BasisBiographie and a vast number of the literary audio recordings.  How did your appointment come about?  

PG:     I’ve been working for a German phenomenon named Loriot for over 18 years.  In terms of his sense of humor, he would best be compared to Monty Python. Although he has an absolute cult status here, he is not known outside of Germany quite obviously due to the language barrier. In early 1999, I was googling copyright violations on the internet- actually it was with Fireball, Google didn’t exist yet. And it was then that I found an online auction catalogue, which was selling original hand written and typed poems by Kinski. I saw the potential danger of these originals ending up in a private collection, bought them myself and got in touch with the heirs in order to make the poems accessible to everyone. That is how my involvement with the Estate of Klaus Kinski began.

DDS: Were you already an admirer of Klaus Kinski’s work? 

PG:     No, I have always been a great admirer of film as an art form. This can be said of only a small percentage of Kinski’s films.  But I always loved the two vinyl albums I had of Kinski in my youth, especially his Nietzsche recitations which are quite extraordinary.

DDS:  With regards to the Kinski Talks DVDs how do you select the shows to include?  

PG:     I would have liked to be able to release them all. This will never happen though since the TV stations involved are in the habit of asking for a lot of money for even only 5 minutes of bonus material for a DVD. You can’t explain to them that it’s a different situation when a DVD is entirely made up of bonus material. But many of them insist on their normal per minute price, which is about 5 times more expensive than buying the rights to an average feature film. This is not affordable, particularly for a project that isn’t planned for mass production. So I try to release the ones which are made available to me. What’s really grotesque is that the TV stations themselves wouldn’t be able to market these interviews for a DVD without my OK due to Kinski’s intellectual property rights. I would have also loved to add English subtitles for example, but this too is hindered by burocracy since I would have to buy the international distribution rights in order to do so.  No one realizes that I could potentially open a new market for their material, such as international TV distribution. It is definitely a shame that these interviews cannot yet be understood by an international audience.

 DDS:  Or is it just a case that they are so few and far between that there is not much for you to choose from?  

 PG:     Aside from the unaffordable interviews, my research has uncovered enough for a “Kinski Talks 3”.  But that would really be it.  In addition, I have not yet discussed the details with the responsible channels and I can’t comment on how realistic they will be.

DDS:  Is this why you have selected interviews to release as they are amongst a small number and provide an insight into Klaus Kinski the man?  Are there any great interviews that you have been unable to obtain the rights for? 

PG:     Every interview gives an insight into the person who is interviewed. Luckily, none of the interviews which were made inaccessible contain any major revelations about Kinski. One interview is truly a shame though, as it’s not due to a TV station and it isn’t a matter of money as far as I can tell.  It’s a quite wonderful and very long interview with Werner Herzog and Kinski together, a release of which has been denied by his office.  If there will be a “Kinski Talks 3”, I would at least show Kinski’s part of this interview although I would have to cut out Herzog to respect his wishes.

 

DDS:  I understand that Klaus did not like to do interviews – did he not like talking about himself?  I’ve only seen a few interviews because my understanding of spoken German is not as good as written, but it seems to me that whenever Klaus gets angry during interviews it’s because he is offended by the line of questioning – it’s strange because Jay Miracle says that with his interview (https://locotigrero.wordpress.com/2011/04/04/an-interview-with-klauskinski-45minutes-film-maker-jay-miracle/), Klaus started talking and just did not want to stop but it seems that he felt very comfortable with Jay and maybe that is why?  

PG:     Jay was absolutely right, Kinski loved to talk in monologue form. His interview problem can be traced back to his beginnings.  When he started his theater career in the late 1940’s, everyone praised his talent, but the critics and theater directors alike, all criticized his inability to work with an ensemble. He refused to do so, but was able to make a name for himself with staged recitations and with self orchestrated scandals in the press. It worked, Kinski did not have to learn teamwork or subordination in order to have success. But fears one avoids instead of confronting will always remain. Kinski never dealt with his fear of being told what to do by directors or critics and from journalists he always expected some form of critique. That’s why it also took Jay so long before Kinski felt comfortable enough that he would not be criticized or judged.

DDS:  What plans do you have for future Kinski Estate releases?  Is there anything coming up for release shortly – aside from the Kinski Talks 2 DVD – that you can tell me about?  Do you have access to lots of archive materials or do you have to source them?

PG:     I don’t like speaking about unlaid eggs. It can have the wrong effect on PR, which also only really makes sense when we’re dealing with some kind of publication. The estate archives are very helpful, but most of my work requires thorough research.

DDS:  I have to ask you about Jesus Christus Erlöser – I hope you don’t mind as I’m sure after doing the rounds of the festivals you are tired of talking about it. But this is probably one of the most exciting documents ever released by or about Klaus Kinski, for so many reasons.  For one it shows just how huge a star he was in those days, how he was seen to be so provocative (without even necessarily trying to be so), what a great figure he was on the stage (for someone of his stature to turn up dressed so casually for his own one man show and still to have the presence and charisma that he had is amazing), what a totally driven performer he was and how he put everything into his work…  For me it is the nearest thing I will get to ever seeing him perform live, which would have been wonderful I am certain of it.  When he is frustrated, you are frustrated with him; when the tears well up in his eyes, it brings tears to your eyes too.  I don’t think it’s a cultural thing at all but I was just absolutely flabbergasted that the audience would believe they have the right to invade the stage, to debate with the performer and to heckle in such a terrible way – I just could not understand this and it made me very sad that such a great performer should be constantly interrupted with ridiculous comments.  [Du dumme Sau! note: I   will review Jesus Christus Erlöser some time soon]

Anyway, I understand that it was only at the end of 2006 after some years of working on the project that the footage and audio were matched and completed – how long did the restoration actually take and was it very arduous?  

PG:     I started working on the film in the fall of 1999 with the support of several partners. Unfortunately, a small label decided to release a partial recording of the show without asking for rights in December of 99.  My contracts became useless after that.  The recording was awful, it was missing a good 40 minutes and it began with one of his later attempts to start from the beginning which was with a very different voice. I then decided to take my time until I could restore a complete audio recording. 

 DDS:  It must have been terribly exciting to track down the film to go with the audio track after so long?

PG:     You’re mistaken in your assumption that the whole evening was filmed. The footage was actually taken in order to promote the international leg of his tour. There was never an intention to shoot the entire show. They didn’t even shoot the beginning or the end of his performance. So I essentially had 135 minutes of unrelated and silent footage from 4 different cameras (many of which were shooting simultaneously) to work with.  Realistically speaking, it should have been impossible to recreate the evening out of this material.  Everyone I spoke to at the time, urged me to sell the clips to TV.  In addition, I wasn’t willing to cut even a single word of what was performed on stage.  I also think that is why the film works.  The audience follows the original and complete audio recording of the first part of the show without realizing that much of footage they are seeing doesn’t even belong where it has ended up in my cut.  I had to manipulate about 30 minutes of the film.  This has lead to some confusion.  For example at the Lisabon film festival, people praised the cameraman for “deciding” to shoot the audience during the crucifixion part of the performance. It’s great that the film is perceived by many as a cult concert film. I guess I got the job done, since everyone thinks it was recorded just like a modern live concert.  

DDS:  I know that in previous interviews on this subject matter you have said something along the lines of how it is wrong to believe that Kinski identifies himself with Jesus but interestingly Werner Herzog said he turned up on the set of Aguirre talking as if he was Jesus!  

PG:     Kinski obviously always identified himself with larger than life characters, Jesus included.  What I said was that he was not trying to be or play Jesus that evening, which many criticized him for.  Herzog was probably talking specifically about a scene in “Aguirre” in which Kinski delivers a single word which he most likely borrowed from Jesus Christ Saviour: “Hinrichten!”, which means “execute!”.

DDS:  This is not the first time I have heard about Klaus taking on the characteristics of a previous role, becoming the temporary embodiment of the character – apparently when he turned up to film Lifespan, he was talking with a thick Mexican accent which I guess was because he’d just been filming Shanghai Joe .  And he said himself that he was Paganini etc, so do you think that there was not even a small part of Klaus that identified himself with Jesus? 

PG:     Just like with Paganini, Beethoven, Kean, Nijinsky and all the others he wanted to play. He identified himself with legends, wanting to be one himself.  

DDS:  For me, the scene at the end, which has been described as having a Woodstock feel to it, is totally about being Jesus-like.  Like Jesus, throughout the show Klaus could not get his message out; he was derided; people argued with him and refused to listen.  And like Jesus he had his “followers” or disciples, who had come to listen to him and wanted to hear what he had to say – those people who waited until the early hours to hear Klaus out and sat there patiently listening to his reworking of the Bible, they are like the faithful few who “believed” Jesus, don’t you think?

PG:     The Woodstock comparison came from Kinski directly, in his book. Most of the people you are talking about at the end of the film are probably being shot during one of the many intermissions, they’re not really listening attentively to anyone, they’re just bored. This can look rather similar.

DDS:  Klaus also said that he knew the Bible off by heart – I can totally believe that as he obviously had a great memory for texts with all of his incredibly long recitals.  He must have been one of the true greats in German theatre and performance – do the German public appreciate him for this?

PG:     His mother was the daughter of a priest, and he was apparently quite familiar with religion. One can see this influence in the poetry he wrote in the beginning of the 50’s.  His memory and voice on the other hand were the results of intense training. In the German public awareness, he is mostly known for his scandals. Then for his Edgar Wallace and Herzog films. The recitations are unfortunately lesser known.

DDS:  After being in Rome for so long, was Klaus hoping that the Jesus Christus Erlöser show could re-establish his reputation in Germany?  The promoter was obviously confident that the money would have been recouped from these shows, so it’s evident that the possibilities were considerable.  

PG:     He was quite broke at the time, as was the Italian film industry.  What was he to do?  He was desperate enough in 71 to sign a contract with Herzog who he had consistently turned down (according to the actor Herbert Fux).

DDS:  I understand also that the German rock group Ihre Kinder were supposed to be accompanying Klaus during the performances but somehow this did not work out – do you know if there are any recordings of their rehearsals out there?  It would have been interesting, I’m sure.

PG:     You should ask Sonny Henning for an interview.  He told me about the sessions which sounded like a good time.  But apparently there are no recordings.

DDS:  I have read a couple of times that Klaus was one of the first to use the tabloid press to his own advantage – but he was dogged by scandals even from his early days in theatre, wasn’t he?  

PG:     Like I already said, he was searching for a way to escape the dictatorship of the theaters and the cultural press. He even wrote his own reviews for a while. But only the yellow press was willing to assist his self orchestrated PR strategies.

DDS:  And he also exaggerated some of his own stories and, notoriously, in his biography included scandalous stories about himself which probably were not even true (let’s hope not) – why did he do this, do you think? 

PG:     People, who exaggerate their stories do so in order to present an exaggerated version of themselves. And Kinski had learned early on from the yellow press that a fake suicide attempt garnered more attention than being normal. He also wrote to earn money.   

DDS:  It’s difficult to understand why when he was already leading an incredibly exciting lifestyle that he had to make up stories about himself.  

PG:     In 1975 he was still suffering from the end of his career in Rome and he tried to build a new career for himself in Paris where he no longer lived in excessive luxury.

DDS:  Between Werner Herzog’s stories and Klaus’s stories it is hard to tell what is real and what is fantasy – I know Klaus said of Herzog: “I like his stories, but the truth is better.”  But he didn’t always tell the truth himself, so it’s difficult to understand!  Do you have any insights to share on this?

PG:     That’s showbusiness! 

And that’s a good point to end on – warmest thanks to Peter Geyer for the interview and for all the good work with the Klaus Kinski Estate Editions.  I look forward to more Estate releases in the near future.  In the meantime, Kinski Talks 2 is now available – it’s 139 minutes long (Maximum Kinski, apparently!) and includes the following interviews:

  • Zeit zu zweit (broadcast on 22/07/1985 on ARD, circa 44 min)
  • NDR Talk Show from 18/10/1985 (circa 30 min)
  • Dinocittà (Jay Miracle interview) 12/09/1986 (circa 61 min)
  • Bonus: newly edited cuttings from Zeit zu zweit (circa 6 min)

Unfortunately, no English subtitles on the German interviews for us English speakers, but there are German subtitles on the Jay Miracle interview for the German speakers.  Lucky!

If anyone wants to tell me what the German interviews are about I would be delighted to hear as I’ll be getting the DVD anyway and I want to know why Klaus is expected to discuss what to do about a dripping tap and what this dirty talk business with Alida Gundlach is all about – these interviews sound great!

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Kinski Beat Presser Exhibition – posters and books

The Kinski Beat Presser exhibition opened in Münster last Friday and there’s exciting news… aside from Beat Presser’s beautiful photographs, I understand that the museum is also displaying Klaus’s outfits from Fitzcarraldo and Cobra Verde, along with other items such as magazines featuring Kinski photos and articles.  Another reason why you need to go to this exhibition!   For more information on the exhibition, see: https://locotigrero.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/%e2%80%9ckinski%e2%80%9d-beat-presser-photographs-exhibition-from-8-april-to-3-october-2011-munster/

If you needed any more reasons why you need to go to Beat Presser’s exhibition, here’s some:

Exhibition poster – size A3  €3 and size A2 €5

Four-page colour leaflet – €1 

Kinski Exhibition Catalogue, 64 pages, Moser Verlag – €29.90

A review of this catalogue will follow shortly…

Kinski Portraits Beat Presser book (arte Edition), 117 pages, Parthas Verlag 2001
€60

This book has sold out in bookstores but is still available from the museum in its original format, brand new! 

Werner Herzog, photographed and edited by Beat Presser (arte Edition), 128 pages,        Jovis Verlag 2002, €60

The exhibition is on now until 3 October 2011, so there’s plenty of time to get over there. If you can’t make it to the exhibition in person, fear not, as you can buy all of the above items directly from the museum, but orders will, of course, be subject to postage and packaging costs. To make an order contact:

Westpreußisches Landesmuseum
Am Steintor 5, 48167 Münster-Wolbeck
Telephone: 0 25 06 / 81012-0
Fax: 0 25 06 / 81012-14
Email: westpreussisches-landesmuseum@t-online.de

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Beat Presser’s new KINSKI book is now available!

The exhibition of Beat Presser’s Klaus Kinski photos begins at the Westpreußisches Landesmuseum in Münster, Germany on 8th April 2011 (see the article on https://locotigrero.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/%e2%80%9ckinski%e2%80%9d-beat-presser-photographs-exhibition-from-8-april-to-3-october-2011-munster/
for more information) and on the same day the catalogue is also available:

It looks incredibly beautiful and whilst I am only coveting it as yet, as soon as I get my hands on a copy I will review it here.  I understand from Amazon’s pages that the catalogue is published by Moser Verlag Gmbh, that it is 64 pages long and is in a hardcover format.

As a taster in the meantime, Beat Presser has provided Du dumme Sau! with a few pages from the book for you to feast your hungry eyes on!

I’m not sure of the price of the catalogue yet – I’ll provide firmer details in the review – but whatever it costs, I’m sure it’s worth every penny.  These have got to be the best photographs of Klaus Kinski and my warmest thanks go to Beat Presser for making this available to us.  Don’t forget about the exhibition too – for our German speaking friends, here is the link to the exhibition page again:  http://www.westpreussisches-landesmuseum.de/index.php/kinski If you don’t speak German, follow my link at the top of this article for details in English.


Click the image to purchase from Amazon

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More Klaus Kinski pictures

I picked up some magazines with Kinski related articles in them, a couple of posters and a pack of lobby cards at the weekend.  Here’s a few bits and pieces to keep you happy until I can get around to doing another review or interview:

First of all, here’s a great poster that my lovely boyfriend bought for me.  It’s for the film The Dead Eyes of London, aka Die toten Augen von London (Dir Alfred Vohrer, 1961), one of the Edgar Wallace films that I really must get around to reviewing one day soon…

Next up, I got this amazing Film Comment magazine from November / December 1979 with a photo from Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre, aka Nosferatu: Phantom der Nacht (1979) on the cover.  If you can find a copy of this, do buy it – it’s got 14 pages of articles about Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski in it, including an interview with Werner Herzog.  The style of the magazine is a little pretentious but Mr Herzog puts the interviewer firmly in his place, “Well, your cross-reference as you make it, this is your own privilege… It may be hard to understand for you, but I don’t come from abstract ideas like Darwinistic concepts or any social comments…”  You tell him, Werner!

And the last thing – for now at least – is the lobby cards for The Little Drummer Girl (Dir George Roy Hill, 1984), which is a film I’ve not seen yet as the DVD is incredibly expensive and the subject matter of the film sounds so terribly “worthy”; sometimes the pretentious films are far more irritating than the trashy ones… But I will see it one day – I have to, Klaus is in it.   Many apologies for the wonky scans – I’m not much cop at scanning but I try my best.

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An interview with KlausKinski.45minutes film maker Jay Miracle

Jay Miracle’s interview film KlausKinski.45minutes was recently reviewed on Du dumme Sau! (see https://locotigrero.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/klaus-kinski-wants-to-give-people-fun/) and now I’ve been lucky enough to get an interview with Mr Miracle himself. 

KlausKinski.45minutes is a great film and I understand that a slightly longer version of the interview will be coming out on the Klaus Kinski Talks 2 DVD from the Klaus Kinski Estate Editions on 8 April 2011.  So if you haven’t seen the film already you can either order Jay’s original version from Amazon in America or you can get the longer version – which I’ve not yet seen – on the German DVD.  I’m told there are no English subtitles on the Klaus Kinski Talks 2 DVD but as the Jay Miracle interview was conducted in English anyway I’m guessing that it’s in its original format.  Buy them both anyway; you know you want to.

Anyway, the interview:

DDS:   Thanks for agreeing to do an interview, Jay, Du dumme Sau! really appreciates it.  One first thing, I kind of thought – and I say this in my review of KlausKinski.45minutes – that maybe the interview didn’t take place in 1987 but might have taken place in 1985 when Klaus was working on David Schmoeller’s Crawlspace, or maybe early 1986.  Was it definitely in 1987?  No big deal really, but just wondering how the dates tie up.

JM:      The interview was 1985 – it was a typo – because David S[chmoeller] borrowed some of my footage for his short.  [Du dumme Sau! note: Please Kill Mr Kinski)

DDS:   I know you said you knew Klaus already through working with Werner Herzog, when was this?

JM:      I first met Werner at the Pacific Film Archives – through Tom Luddy – was a volunteer there for two years and saw all of Werner’s movies.  I met him when he was there, and I worked with Errol Morris on Gates of Heaven ­– a pet cemetery film that “[Gene] Siskel and [Roger] Ebert” rated as one of the top 10 of the decade – on which I was initially co-producer, did location sound and brought my friend Ned Burgess onto the shoot as the DP.  He eventually shot most of Gates of Heaven, as well as other Errol projects. 

After the film finished, Werner made good on a bet and had one of his boots sauteed at Chez Panisse for about a week, then “ate his shoe” on stage in Berkeley.  Les Blank made a movie of it [Du dumme Sau! note: Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe, 1980]. Werner has always been an incredible inspiration to me.

DDS:   When did you first think about doing the interview with Klaus and how did it come about? 

JM:      I was in Rome waiting to do another project for Empire Pictures (David Schmoeller was there shooting Crawlspace and Stuart Gordon was shooting From Beyond).  I had met Klaus through a number of other filmmakers/producers (Barbet Schroeder, Pierre Cottrell) and we’d connected at the Telluride Film Festival (which is why he keeps referring to me about what happened there with him and Werner).

Klaus was not having a good time at all during the shoot of Crawlspace.  He was constantly upset over any minor detail, and I would hang out with him while he was waiting around at the stages and his dressing room.  Since I was a decent listener, for some reason he just loved to rant about everything to me, and we got quite close there. 

After two weeks, there was a major devaluation in the Italian lira, and my project fell through — but Empire Pictures needed some publicity for the two films, so I started to show up with a crew and camera.  Klaus was not in the least interested.  He hated interviews, but one day, on the chance event that he was in a great mood, he decided I could talk to him (but only if I carried the camera under my arm, and looked at him directly). 

It was quite bizarre, but he was up for a walk around the grounds, and I probably got 2-3 sentences in the entire time.  For someone not interested in interviews, he just ranted straight through and would not stop talking.   I had no idea he would go off like that, or I would have brought another 2-3 hours of tape.  But it was easy for him, because we had talked about everything several times over the previous few weeks.

DDS:   Did you get to ask many questions?  I know the film’s been edited together – probably for coherency reasons – as Klaus seems to drift from one subject to another from time to time, so I’m wondering if you even got much of a chance to ask questions as he seemed to just roll with it and go off on one?

JM:      He ranted and raved nonstop.

DDS:   As a film director (I know you’ve worked in many different roles in film making but directing is one of them) do you understand where Klaus is coming from with his opinions on directors? And did you agree with his opinion on the studios and how they should “make fun for the people”?!!

JM:      Actually, I couldn’t agree with him more – about the “pedigree” of some directors and how difficult that must be for an actor.  However, Hollywood production versus Italian (or some other European) production styles are quite different.  There is a strong need to save time and $$ in LA, but the “make it fun” part to me is more about making it more viable for the crew in terms of work hours.  I think that was what Klaus was really talking more about — he liked Spielberg’s games, but the reality was how long do the crew have to work, finish, and then be back on the set the next day?  His politics really came out:  he really liked to hang with all types – which is why he bought that expensive bottle for the crew (I’m not sure if all of that is in the 45 min version – just realized I had to trim the hour plus of material).  Klaus loved to party as part of the work.  You don’t find that as pervasive in the States.  It’s much more of a 9-5 job.  [Du dumme Sau! note: Klaus briefly refers to this really expensive cognac he has brought with him for the crew and he is seen carrying the bottle around under his arm throughout the interview] 

DDS:   Although Klaus was going off on one a little bit at times he didn’t seem to be really ranting in the film and he seemed to be fairly jolly really – from time to time you can see a smirk on his face or even a big smile when he knows that what he has just said is silly or outrageous – but you were there with him filming, did you feel comfortable or were there ever moments when it was a bit crazy?

JM:      He really had a great time, and so did I.  I was so surprised at how engaged and enthusiastic he became.  It was never uncomfortable, but he was always highly-strung.

DDS:   I can’t believe how well you did with the filming under the circumstances, were you pleased with the outcome?  And are you pleased that it’s now coming out on the official Klaus Kinski Estate Editions DVD?

JM:      I would love to see that DVD — but of course, the interview conditions were so strange, and I had no idea whether he would even show up in the frame.  It was an odd experience.  I just hoped some of it would stay in focus, etc., and knew we could at least use some of the sound, if nothing else worked.

DDS:   Klaus seemed to be a bit restless during the interview, constant pacing, folding the paper, playing with the lever on the door, etc, did you just have to run along with him wherever he went?  Did you manage to keep his attention?  And can you tell me how he broke his sunglasses?!!

JM:      His attention was totally on ranting – and he was just a wired guy – and he loved to walk.  That was the only way to get him to agree to talk on camera, so I just followed him around and I was laughing most the time and really enjoying it – and he did too.

DDS:   Just an observation but his face lit up when he saw those two ladies in the offscreen space (“they must be two sisters!”)!

JM:      Of course, right behind us, there were two beautiful women arriving on the set to see him.  He was always excited about that.

DDS:   And can I ask as well, did you manage to follow what he was saying all the time?  It really did seem like stream of consciousness stuff to me and it was highly amusing for it.

JM:      I didn’t really care — I could barely get a word in edgewise – so I just went with it.  We both had a great time.  He literally did not want to stop.  He kept coming back to me for days later, expanding on this and that.  It was quite funny.

DDS:   Do you have any Klaus Kinski stories you can share with me?  Even the most boring stuff is interesting to us fans, so whatever you’re able to share…

JM:      The amazing thing about him was he was so dynamic – unpredictable – and brilliant when he wanted to be.  He could not stand being “directed” by someone if he didn’t think they knew what they were doing, and he would go on and on about that to me all the time. 

He would also have these ridiculous fits.  One time, a very old man (80’s) was dragging a trash can around the commissary to clean up.  The sound of the scraping so freaked out Klaus, that he ran over, picked up the can, and dumped it – screaming that he couldn’t stand that sound.  The poor guy had no idea what was going on.

DDS:   And, finally, your own career is really interesting – you did the amazing sound editing on Apocalypse Now; you did editing on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Star Wars IV, amongst many, many other things – could you tell me a bit about what it’s like working in the film industry, what your favourite projects have been so far and what you’re currently working on? 

JM:      Whatever I’m currently working on is my favourite.  I like documentaries as well as features.  I have two in production; one is on Smyrna, 1922, and the other is on corporate healthcare in the US.  I’m currently working on completing a feature western I was co-director and editor on [Du dumme Sau! note: I think this is Yellow Rock which is currently in post-production].

DDS:   Well, thank you so much for telling Du dumme Sau! about your experience of interviewing Klaus Kinski and all the impressive tales of working with Werner Herzog (it goes without saying that he is one of DDS’s favourite directors) and Errol Morris (an aside, DDS really loved his 2010 documentary about Joyce McKinney, Tabloid, and would highly recommend it), and hanging out with impressive film makers such as Barbet Schroeder and Pierre Cottrell.  Du dumme Sau! is ever so slightly jealous! All best wishes for your latest projects, Jay, and thanks again for sharing your Klaus Kinski stories with us.

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Klaus Kinski wants to give people fun

KlausKinski.45minutes (Dir Jay Miracle, 1985)

Background: Klaus Kinski is bored and agrees to do an interview with the film maker Jay Miracle on the De Laurentiis Studios lot outside Rome.  This leads to a chaotic rant on various subjects including directors, Werner Herzog, money, acting and politics.  And somehow he breaks his sunglasses…

Cast: Klaus Kinski as himself; Jay Miracle – in offscreen space; an unidentified young man who offers to fix the sunglasses; two unidentified women who catch Klaus’ wandering eye…

Filming location: De Laurentiis Studios lot, Rome, Italy

Release date: 2006

Availability:  KlausKinski.45minutes is available from Amazon.com and is region free, so you don’t need a multi-region player for this one.  It costs about £16 including delivery to the UK.  It will also be available in a slightly longer format on the Klaus Kinski Talks 2 DVD, an official Klaus Kinski Estate Edition release, when this becomes available on 08.04.11.

The interview in full – *SPOILER ALERT*:

When I first heard about this interview I was told that the American film maker, Jay Miracle, had been granted an interview with Klaus but he was told that unless he would pay $100,000 or a Ferrari, or something, he could not film Klaus.  I was told that there was only sound and no images.  But then I contacted Jay Miracle about it and he said that actually it’s not just sound and Klaus didn’t ask for any payment either – all he asked is that Jay did not look through the camera, so it was held under the arm while they talked instead.  That explains why a small number of images are not perfectly filmed (ie Klaus is not in the centre of the frame) but considering the circumstances under which this interview is filmed it is quite amazing.

Apparently Klaus didn’t like to give interviews and rarely did so, which makes this film even more of a must for Kinski fans as it catches Klaus in a relaxed mood talking and answering questions without an audience other than the film maker.  A warning though, Klaus appears to have a wandering mind so sometimes it is difficult to follow his train of thought…

In editing the interview together Jay Miracle has helpfully provided some categories for the topics Klaus discusses (or rants) about. 

Directors

Some things I learnt from the interview:

  • KK hates directors – mainly because they’re pretentious
  • KK is allergic to directors but when he first meets them he is nice – “as I always am, in the first place”!
  • KK doesn’t need to be f***ed in the ass by Pasolini or Visconti to appear on the screen and if he wants to be f***ed in the ass, he will decide
  • KK once met someone who gave him a business card that said they were an opera singer and they could not even sing
  • KK does not need to be taught to breathe and he’s not blind and does not need a dog to cross the street

Some things I didn’t learn:

  • What does being a director mean?  KK said he didn’t know and he didn’t offer any suggestions!
  • If KK does not want to be called an actor, what should we call him?

Werner Herzog

Some things I learnt from the interview:

  • KK ripped up a Woyzeck poster and screamed when he saw it because it said it was “Werner Herzog’s masterpiece Woyzeck” and in KK’s contract it said only his name should be big and at the top of marketing materials – KK gave Herzog 24 hours to get another poster made with his name in big letters, “Who cares?”, KK said, but clearly he did
  • During the filming of Fitzcarraldo KK gave Herzog “a real kung fu kick in his face… because he was so wrong that I couldn’t stand it anymore”
  • KK compares himself to a kung fu master – Herzog “said everywhere in the world, he admitted it everywhere” that he learnt a lot from KK when they made movies together, in the same way Bruce Lee would always say Yip Man was his master as he learnt it all from him
  • KK doesn’t need a hunchback to be a hunchback; he just is a hunchback
  • When Herzog says good things about KK, he means it; and when KK says good things about Herzog, he means it too
  • KK thinks the 9 bullets story (“Before you reach the bend in the river, there will be eight bullets in your head, and the last bullet will be for me.”) came from Herzog’s “public relations idiot asshole” and that Herzog had to repeat it because otherwise he would have to say he was a liar
  • KK says everybody knew Herzog did not have a gun, but KK did have a gun though – he had to get a special permit from the government to get it into the country and he used it to shoot at the moon!
  • KK says he always called Herzog Adolf Hitler “because he had the moustache and he looked like Adolf Hitler… it’s just not a big deal to call him that”

Some things I didn’t learn:

  • Whether the two unidentified women KK admires were actually sisters or not

Klaus’ little face has lit up like a child’s on Christmas morning – there must be women in the vicinity!

Give people fun

Some things I learnt from the interview:

  • There are people working 14 hours a day in film studios and they have no life – the studios don’t “do something good for people… It’s so easy to say have fun… but give people fun first and then say have fun”
  • In Italy KK was offered about 20 films a week – he just picked the highest paid without looking at the scripts or anything
  • KK gets along great with the Italians because his temper is very similar to theirs
  • Every day was a party for KK when he first moved to Italy – “It was just happiness”

Some things I didn’t learn:

  • Whether Klaus did “eleven movies a year”, or “10 to 11 movies a year”, or “9 to 11 movies a year” in Italy
  • How KK can only have done 45 to 50 films whilst living in Italy if he really did 11 movies a year as he was there for more than a few years

Money

Some things I learnt from the interview:

  • KK worked for 10 years without a day of holidays
  • KK was not at all sorry that he wasted a lot of money by inviting everyone over and even giving the postman Champagne when he first started earning big money
  • KK explained that he was right to select the movies he worked on “only for money, just for money”, and I kind of think I understand his reasoning; my interpretation of what KK said is that it’s only important what comes out of the movie, so if your creative intentions are not successful then you have done the movie for nothing so you might as well just do it for the money anyway

Some things I didn’t learn:

  • How much money KK wasted

Politics

Some things I learnt from the interview:

  • KK thinks “the young people are just beautiful” and that “if you ruin the young people in the world, there’s no life; no future anymore”
  • KK hated Berlin because he had to go to school there and because his mother was killed in the street there during the war
  • KK thought that places should be provided for young people to “make them happy, instead of killing them”
  • KK thought that we should “stop hating and start living” and “just don’t talk anymore – do it!”
  • KK thinks that people who blow up planes should be stopped – “Stop them! Kill them! However!”
  • KK thinks politics is “your masturbation for your own past”
  • KK says that for interviews in France they would say “it’s always good not to be shaved and a little bit dirty, you know, and the hairs are not combed… that you don’t care”
  • That when asked if he was a leftist or a rightist in France, KK refused to understand and said, “Yeah, yeah, I’m left-handed, if I masturb [sic] myself I do it with the left hand” and this was in all the newspapers in France but KK doesn’t think they understood – I’m not surprised as he followed this up with saying, “It’s like with the hamburger, you know what I mean?” Erm, no, Klaus, not really…
  • KK explained the hamburger comment by saying that the newspapers are full of crap and people just eat it like they eat a bad hamburger – they don’t want to know if there’s worms in the meat

Some things I didn’t learn:

  • Where KK actually stood on politics!
  • What the whole long, garbled barbed wire anecdote was really about
  • Whether the Coca-Cola can is still hanging from the barbed wire
  • How KK broke his sunglasses

I know.  You’ll just have to buy the film and watch it yourself to see if you can make any more sense of it than I can. 

Anyway, just some observations:

Interestingly, Klaus tells a story about an unnamed director who told him that he would see to it that Klaus did not make any more movies.  Klaus says he told him: “This is dangerous for you because I’m made for it, okay?  Everybody in the world agrees with it, okay?  Everybody who wants me, and there are a lot of people who want me, so this is nothing to do with myself, it’s just a fact, okay?” 

Okay.  Klaus then goes on to say that he told the director that before god or whoever decided that he would not make any more movies, that he [the director] may be dead, or for sure he would be dead.  He then adds: “And one year later he was dead… No, no, I didn’t kill him!”

No, Klaus might not have killed him, but his death could be put to good use so he could tell Klaus how to die, like the director in another anecdote who Klaus says shouldn’t tell him how to die: “Were you already dead?  Okay, then, get dead first and come back and tell me!”

Klaus advises that a director should be as clever as they possibly can to get the performance they want out of an actor, as ever he refers to himself as a wild animal: “If you want to see an animal in the wilderness, go close but be clever not to disturb because it not only runs away but it may even kill you.”  This should have been a worry for Werner Herzog, given that Klaus says everybody knew that Herzog didn’t really have the gun with 9 bullets… and “the animal in the wilderness” (ie Klaus) did have a Winchester rifle himself, or so he says!

Despite all this, Klaus is said to have referred to Herzog as “a less big asshole than the others” (see Playboy interview November 1985) so it’s not surprising that he says in the film, “…the point is, actually, if he comes now and says okay now can we leave on 1st March, you know, I would say, yeah, you go now to my agent and to the lawyers and make the deal and I bet I’ll be there too, you know… I wouldn’t say, hey you, you’ve been getting on my nerves the last 3 years or whatever.”  This is all borne out by the fact that they went on to work together again on Cobra Verde

It should be noted that of a 45 minute interview, Kinski dedicates a quarter of his time to the subject of Werner Herzog – I think the two of them were more than slightly obsessed with each other; “love-hate” just isn’t enough to encompass their complex relationship…

Something else I noted was that Klaus had said he didn’t like people who back out of deals and contracts (with reference to Werner Herzog) but he later described how he had been paid a lot of money for his Jesus Christ Savior world tour and how he did it only two times and then said, “F*** off!” because he didn’t want to finish like Jesus had, “…you know, I didn’t want to be nailed to the cross!”  Strange, he doesn’t see this in the same way that he sees other people backing out of contracts.  And whilst on the subject of Klaus likening himself to Jesus Christ, later in the film he talks about gangsters like Al Capone and says, “You know, Al Capone never said I’m Jesus Christ.  At least this, you see.”  That made me laugh!    

I can’t recommend KlausKinski.45minutes enough – okay, it’s only 45 minutes long but it’s Klaus rambling on about things that get his goat and, no, it doesn’t always make sense but you get to see Kinski the man at rest (as far as that is possible for him): one minute he rants (he swears, he gesticulates, but he’s never as scary as you might imagine he would be), the next he looks incredibly happy and makes himself laugh with his own observations, and you see him distracted (by a helicopter overhead; by the horn of a passing truck; by two passing women who he thinks “must be two sisters”) and get to study his body language as he restlessly paces, folds a piece of paper repeatedly, plays with a lever on a door, tidies his hair, etc. If only the film had not run out so quickly, I’m sure Klaus could have gone on!

There’s one thing though, having read Marcelle Clements’ interview with Klaus in Playboy (November 1985), it struck me whilst I was watching the film that the interview with Jay Miracle appears to be a visual version of that print interview.  I started to wonder whether the date of the film as 1987 was actually correct.  It says on the DVD box that the interview took place in 1987 but I’m not certain.  There are too many coincidences to suggest otherwise: Klaus was on the De Laurentiis Studio lot in Rome whilst making Crawlspace in 1985, and although he was back in Italy for the filming of Nosferatu in Venice in August 1986 and was filming Paganini in 1987, I’m not sure they were filmed at the studios in Rome.  The interview in Playboy was late ’85 and contains so many of the themes Klaus raises in the Jay Miracle interview – the hamburgers; being called an actor; how “there is no fun”; doing movies exclusively for money; about being “the one who does it” in the films with Herzog; the nine bullets story; about wanting the Nobel Prize as it’s worth $400,000; Bruce Lee and kung fu; about how he feels when he is asked by a director to do another take, etc. I could be wrong but I think this interview might actually have taken place in 1985 or early 1986.  Does anyone know?

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