Friday, October 27, 2006


Has anyone ever heard of the German thespian Klaus Kinski? People my age would probably best associate him as the father of the great beauty and sometimes actress Nastassja Kinski. Klaus, however, was a great actor in his own right. Some say the greatest German actor in history. Granted, it seems he made a lot of crappy movies. Some of his better ones include the Clint Eastwood flick, For a Few Dollars More, as well as a remake of the vampire movie Nosfaratu. He also apparently made three classics with famed German director Werner Herzog. All of this might be conveniently forgotten, as well as Kinski's notorious condescending attitude toward directors, volatile temper, and lavish lifestyle, if it were not for a fabulous book he wrote, called Kinski Uncut - his autobiography. Uncut apparently refers to his member, which was uncircumcised, and if you believe half of what you read -- well, let's just say he knew how to use that thing. The book starts out fairly mildly and a bit depressingly, as he apparently had a really rough childhood, that ended up with him getting drafted into the Nazi army when he was 16 and shot by the British. Well, he survives and somehow becomes obsessed with acting and grows into this phenomenal thespian. He is an artist through and through, totally dedicated to his craft, pretty much at the expense of any normalcy in his everyday life. And part of his thing is fucking chicks. I mean all sorts of chicks, here, there and everywhere, which he recounts in lurid detail in his autobiography. I mean reading this thing is like the proverbial train wreck, you want to put it down, but you keep going back to it, mainly because it's so shocking. The enthusiasm he uses to describe his exploits is infectious. Probably, needless to say, all this fucking wasn't great for his personal relationships, and he was forever have blowouts and breakups with girls and women, but quickly then finding new ones. I don't know, as I said I think this is a great book - mainly for the straightforward enthusiasm which is poured into it, even as you know this train that is Kinski is going too fast and going to be headed off the tracks. I told my friend who gave it to me that it reminded me of a Kerouac novel. Kerouac's life, however, ended much more badly than Kinski's I think... but that's all irrelevant now. If you are interested in a vulgar, intriguing, exciting, disgusting, titillating, etc. portrait of an artist, check out Kinski Uncut.


Stan Langerhaus said...

So Kinski was the Wilt Chamberlain of acting? Nice.

Ralph said...

I'm not sure if Wilt gets into as much graphic detail as Klaus does, but, if so, more power to him. And yes, Klaus, like Wilt (from what I understand) has the obligatory stewardess in the bathroom of the airplane scene.

Anonymous said...

good on ya, mate
those three movies with Herzog you mentioned (Fitzcaraldo, Aguirre and Cobra Verde) are actually masterpiece of cinema in my mind, but i warn you they are all very slow moving and if you don't like that style your not gonna like the flicks. Kinski definitly is the greatest and most insane german actor there ever was.
During filming for "Aguirre- the wrath of God", they filmed with local tribesmen(brazilian jungle), and these eventually offered Herzog to kill Kinski as he was constantly losing the plot...
just a little anecdote on Kinski :)

DocTorDee said...

"Aguirre: The Wrath of God" is truly a fine film. From what I've heard, the film reflects Kinski's intense nature and ferocious personality.

He was actually Polish, and died in 1991. He was also a POW, fighting on behalf of the Germans in WWI. He spent some time in a British POW camp.

This is from IMDB: "Kinski grew up in Berlin, was drafted into the German army and spent much of World War II as a British POW. He began acting on the stage, quickly gaining a reputation for his ferocious talent and equally ferocious temper. He started acting in films shortly afterwards, showing complete lack of discrimination as to their quality (a complete filmography is almost impossible to establish), but turning out memorable work for director Werner Herzog a similarly driven and obsessive character. Herzog and Kinski pushed each other to extremes over a fifteen-year working relationship, but finally split after irreconcilable differences when filming 'Cobra Verde'.

"His autobiography 'Ich brauche Liebe', one of the most vicious attacks on the film business ever written, has been withdrawn for legal reasons."


Ralph said...

Soup gave me the book, is that surprising?

Ralph said...

Looks like I'll have to join Netflix if I want to see Aguirre