Stephen Bové - Art, Technology, Right Action

Monday, December 13, 2004

Klaus Kinski in Mill Valley











Re-watched Werner Herzog's documentary about his relationship with actor Klaus Kinski...My Best Friend (Mein Liebster Feind)...sensational study of the creative process...

Searching the internet for stuff on Klaus: found an odd interview/story about him.

He died at his home in Lagunitas in 1991 (just north of where I now live)...2 weeks before his death, he met this reporter/interviewer for lunch in Mill Valley at D'Angelos...they sat together at one of the little marble tables in the front bar window...he loved Jack London...who also happened to live in/around the bay area)...

Don't miss Kinski's flagrant autobiography (current version is the toned down 2nd publishing after the first was pulled due to libel threats)...

"Our first task was finding a table in the near-empty restaurant. Kinski led me from table to table, with Paolo right behind us. No, this table wasn't right because it was too close to other diners. No, this table was in the sun. No, this table was too near the aisle. So, we circled the room for several minutes before he settled upon a small marble table by the window in the front bar area that had not yet been set up.

He asked me where I used to live. When I said Oakland, he began talking about one of his favorite authors, Jack London. He narrated the plot of one story, To Build a Fire, which he said he always wanted to film. The tale is about a Yukon adventurer who is caught out in the Klondike cold. His only hope for survival in the sub-freezing temperature is to build a fire, but his hands are numb with frostbite. He does manage to ignite a fire with matches and a scrap of beech bark, but only by cupping the flame with his hands until his palms begin to burn. While Klaus told this story, he, too, cupped his hands. I half expected to see the yellow tip of a flame flickering up through his fingers...






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