Sunday, January 13, 2013

Is It Possible to Still be a Kinski Fan?

In the wake of the recent disturbing – but not altogether shocking – news that Klaus Kinski's daughter had accused him of molesting her between the ages of 5-14, I wrestled with the future of my fascination with Kinski.

I've spent years acquiring his films, buying books and magazines, loading up on Turkish posters for largely-forgotten krimis. Would I be able to watch the films the same way again? Or, as The Spiegel posited in a recent article, was it possible to still be a fan of someone that was accused of something so monstrous?

At least one Kinski-related blog – the excellent Du Dumme Sau! – decided to pull the plug and retire, though I find it hard to believe anyone who had looked so closely at his life could truly be "shocked" by this news.

Kinski himself had alluded to such activities over the years, daughter Nastassja implied there existed an underlying real-life villainy to his reel-life madness, and in a book about 80s cinema one director mentioned the actor boasting of an illicit relationship with Pola. So it's not as if this information wasn't there – if you wanted to look hard enough.

In the end, my interest in Kinski has largely been about his on-screen persona and the crazy energy he brought to his film appearances.

And that's the side of the man that I'll continue to explore, though I can't help but think that a darker vision will take shape as my eyes inevitably hunt for clues in his performances.

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