IF YOU MEET KLAUS KINSKI, PRAY FOR YOUR DEATH
July 31 – August 10
Klaus Kinski is most often thought of in the context of his fruitful, if terrifying association with Werner Herzog, who famously harnessed his wild, volatile, and even dangerous energy and led him to legendary performances in AGUIRRE, THE WRATH OF GOD (1972), WOYZECK (1979), NOSFERATU THE VAMPYRE (1979), FITZCARRALDO (1982), and COBRA VERDE (1987). Though these films (and performances) are justifiably acclaimed, they represent the tip of the iceberg in Kinski’s long and ridiculously prolific career. Kinski appeared in well over a hundred movies before his death in 1991, including countless spaghetti westerns, crime films, horror movies, and international co-productions – and while many of these are negligible, if not awful, films, there’s not a single one in which Kinski’s savage, unhinged intensity doesn’t at least momentarily transcend its surroundings.
Anthology’s retrospective is anchored by two very special, rarely-screened works: Kinski’s sole directorial effort, the delirious and typically megalomaniacal PAGANINI, and JESUS CHRIST SAVIOUR, an unforgettable document of Kinski’s disastrous one-man theatrical spectacle, in which he channeled Jesus Christ to the violent protests of the audience. Alongside these two not-to-be-missed events, we’ll be presenting a broad selection of the films Kinski acted in (and wreaked havoc upon), for filmmakers other than Herzog, including Jess Franco, Antonio Margheriti, Andrzej Zulawski, and Billy Wilder, among others. A performer whose twisted personality burns through the screen like no other, Kinski was a maniac, but a maniac who left an indelible mark on the cinema.
Co-presented with the Goethe-Institut New York; very special thanks to Wenzel Bilger, Sara Stevenson, and Judith Anger. Thanks as well to Peter Geyer, David Schmoeller, Fleur Buckley (BFI), Chris Chouinard (Park Circus), Sebastian del Castillo (American Genre Film Archive), Lee Demarbre, Antoine Ferrasson (Tamasa Distribution), Harry Guerro, Manuela Mazzone Lopez (Intramovies), and Andrea Meneghelli (Cineteca di Bologna).