Kinski on Herzog

I'm slapping together a short review of Alex Ross' book "The Rest is Noise," but while looking for a nice image of the book's cover, I came across this review by Ross of an English translation of Klaus Kinski's memoir, Kinski Uncut:

Episodes recorded in Kinski Uncut fall into four categories: 1) sexual encounters with hundreds of women, beautiful and ugly, young and old, in a grotesque pornographic idiom that excludes sensual pleasure; 2) Céline-esque voyages of degradation and misery, often involving vomit, excrement, and delirium; 3) excoriations of incompetent directors, producers, writers, actors, journalists, and generally, all individuals who are not Kinski; 4) bouts of self-righteousness mixed with intense self-loathing. He actively sets out to make himself appear the biggest creep who ever walked the earth.

[Kinski on Herzog]: "Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, blackmailing, cowardly, thoroughly dishonest creep. His so-called 'talent' consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. … Every scene, every angle, every shot is determined by me. … I can at least partly save the movie from being wrecked by Herzog's bungling,"

I should note that since Ross' review was written, Herzog made the excellent documentary Mein Liebster Feind (g) in which he tells the story of Kinski visiting him (at one point, Herzog and Kinski were neighbors), and asking Herzog to help select grotesquely insulting adjectives to describe himself. "I'm sorry to do this to you, Werner," he recalls Kinski saying, "but you know people — they only want to read the bad stuff!"

[Photo: ultra-creepy digital age-progression showing how Klaus Kinski would look today, created by a team (g) of programmers and filmmakers in Baden-Württemberg]

One thought on “Kinski on Herzog

  1. In “Mein liebster Feind”, Herzog also tells the story how the Indians offered to kill Kinski for him on the set of “Fitzcarraldo”. Kinski obviously showed them his best side as usual …

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