Too busy with diminishing Macbook power for a long-arsed blog entry. But a recent dinner table conversation on Klaus Kinski, and the discovery that a US journalist, quite rightly, described him as having, “…an alarming face” there’s always time to gather Kinski quotes. The recent translation of Herzog’s superb ‘FItzcarraldo’ memoirs, ‘Conquest Of The Useless’, as with ‘On Walking In Ice’, proves what a master of description he is, obsessed with his decaying, writhing environment. Kinski’s ‘Kinski Uncut’ (which desperately needs a reprint) proved Klaus to be a bilious style-master in the writing stakes, and a psychotic loverman to boot.
Check out this 1985 ‘Playboy’ piece by Marcelle Clements. And below, David Schmoeller’s recollections of working with Kinski – ‘Please Kill Mr. Kinski’ – the psychotic scream is fantastic.
“When Barlog refuses to cast me as the lead in ‘Ah, Wilderness’ I smash the windowpanes of the Schlossparktheater. My one-year contract is not renewed. But I would have lost my mind anyway and starved to death among these barnstormers.”
“‘Why are you making such crappy films? You used to do better stuff,’ the trashman calls over the fence of our villa as he picks up the trash barrel. I rub my fingers together to signify cash. He understands and smiles.”
“Why me? Because I am what they call an actor? It is me or someone else, a murderer or a conductor, or anybody, anybody, anything, that can be consumed. They consume everything – art, executions, hamburgers, Jesus Christ. It is all supermarket talk. It is consumer shit to fill up their pages.”
“I WAS NOT EXCELLENT! I WAS NOT EXTRAORDINARY! I WAS MONUMENTAL! I WAS EPOCHAL!”
“I hold on to a street light and think that this is the end. I pull out the kitchen knife and stick it down my throat like a sword-swallower. And then it happens. The boil breaks! And I puke half a litre of pus into the gutter. Now I’m rid of everything and my pains are gone.”
“I shriek into his face that I want to see him croak like that llama he executed … He should be thrown to the crocodiles alive! An anaconda should throttle him slowly! The sting of a deadly spider should paralyze him! His brain should burst from the bite of the most poisonous of all snakes! Panthers shouldn’t slit his throat open with their claws, that would be too good for him! No. Big red ants should piss in his eyes, eat his balls, penetrate his asshole, and eat his guts! He should get the plague! Syphilis! Malaria! Yellow fever! Leprosy! In vain. The more I wish the most horrible of deaths on him and treat him like the scum of the earth that he is, the less I can get rid of him!”
“Herzog is a miserable, hateful, malevolent, avaricious, money-hungry, nasty, sadistic, treacherous, cowardly creep. His so-called ‘talent’ consists of nothing but tormenting helpless creatures and, if necessary, torturing them to death or simply murdering them. He doesn’t care about anyone or anything except his wretched career as a so-called filmmaker.”
“No, I don’t want to waste my time with these arrogant morons.”
“You mustn’t let scar tissue form on your wounds; you have to keep ripping them open in order to turn your insides into a marvelous instrument that is capable of anything. All this has its price. I become so sensitive I can’t live under normal conditions. That’s why the hours between performances are the worst.”
“Why am I a whore? I need love! Nonstop! And I want to give love because I have so much of it. No one understands that the sole purpose of my whoring is to spend myself totally!”
“His speech is clumsy, with a toadlike indolence, long-winded, pedantic, choppy. The words tumble from his mouth in sentence fragments, which he holds back as much as possible, as if they were earning interest. It takes forever and a day for him to push out a clump of hardened brain-snot. Then he writhes in painful ecstasy, as if he had sugar on his rotten teeth.”