Last time, we left our heroine at an important point in her career. Having finally made her name as a ‘serious actress’, after several films where she was mainly employed for her decorative appearance, she then proceeded to appear in one best described as ‘disappointing’. What to do now? The answer was simple – get back to taking her clothes off, though of course now in a ‘serious’ manner:
CAT PEOPLE – Paul Schrader, 1982.
Irena (NK) comes to stay with her brother in New Orleans. He has an Awful Secret – when he gets randy, he turns into a panther ( Irena has the same problem, but doesn’t know it). Fortunately, he can make love to his sister without getting the urge to sharpen his claws on the furniture; she is not too ecstatic at the thought, as she’s fallen in love with a keeper at the zoo where she works. Remake of the old B/W classic, with a lot more sex and blood. This is a film with something for everyone: incest, bestiality and bondage among other practices. I’m not sure if this is an sexy splatter film or a splattery sex film – it IS torrid, and although it loses the atmosphere of the original, it makes up for it in passion.
This would be THE perfect NK film – she is on the screen almost constantly and indulges in things unlikely to be approved of by Mrs. Whitehouse – except for one thing. Why did she cut her hair?? Sob…
ART: **** ENTERTAINMENT: **** KINSKI CONTENT: **** FLESH: *****
Critically slagged, but loved by the public, after lots of free publicity when NK whined about the amount of nudity/sex in the final version. This guaranteed it success (cf. 9 1/2 Weeks, Last Tango in Paris)!!. Moving rapidly on:
EXPOSED – James Toback, 1982
NK gets involved with Rudolf Nureyev, who plays a musician on the track of a gang of terrorists responsible for a bomb that killed some of his family. She agrees to help him track them down and infiltrates their cell. They are not chuffed when they find out about this…
Reasonable drama, starts off slowly with a lot of unnecessary junk about NK coming to New York after an unhappy love affair and being discovered as a model. When she joins the terrorists, things perk up a bit and it’s quite a good ending.
Flesh content not great. New addition to list of NK perversions; being played like a cello. NK is in a lot of scenes, with another new hairstyle, still not as good as when it was long…
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: *** KINSKI CONTENT: **** FLESH: **
FRUHLINGSSINFONIE (Spring Symphony) – Peter Schamoni, 1982.
A rare East/West German co-production, this film is based on the life of composer Robert Schumann, and his wife Clara, played by NK. The main point of the film is the conflict between Robert and Clara’s father over her; as much a battle between generations as between individuals. A nice film, basically a remake of ‘Immortal Passion’ [ at least that’s what the French title translates as! ], starring Katherine Hepburn. The period atmosphere (Germany between the wars) is created well, with good use of costume and sets.
Obviously, the subject matter doesn’t lend itself to gratuitous nudity – still, NK is back to looking at her best and there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it nipple. For me, the most droolworthy she’s looked since becoming a megastar, and about the last film in which she is truly gorgeous. Downhill from here on, folks!
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: **** KINSKI CONTENT: **** FLESH: **
THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE – Tony Richardson, 1982
The trials and tribulations of a family, as they take up ownership of a hotel, try to run it, fail, move to Vienna, get taken hostage by international terrorists and finally live happyish ever after.
A pet project of Jodie Foster’s this, based on the book by John Irving. Described by the Daily Mail as ‘a very funny film’ – since one of the central incidents is Jodie Foster getting gang raped (again!), we can deduce the paper has an odd sense of humour. Weird film, has it’s moments, but not enough of them.
NK and Jodie Foster in lesbian love scene!! However, it is incredibly coy, with the sheets pulled up to the neck. NK doesn’t appear until late on, and is generally clad in a bear skin. She does take this off once, but it’s too dark to tell!
ART: ** ENTERTAINMENT: ** KINSKI CONTENT: * FLESH: *
LA LUNE DANS LE CANIVEAU (The Moon in the Gutter) – Jean-Jacques Beneix, 1982
Gerard Depardieu is obsessed with finding the people responsible for raping and killing his sister. He meets NK, and they embark on a love-affair interspersed with brutality when he wrongly accuses someone of being the murderer. Not a lot else happens. and this is in a 137 mins long filmzzzzzz…
The video box screams STARRING NASTASSJA KINSKI AND GERARD DEPARDIEU . Wrong. Starring Gerard Depardieu with NK wandering through a few scenes. Basically dull, some cool photography, but is over long and has an immense number of long and meaningful glances. French art movie, and not even a good one.
As already mentioned, NK doesn’t appear a lot, just sort of drifts about, looking extremely pretty with (yet) another hair- style. There is some nudity in this film, but NK doesn’t take part in any of it. Almost forgettable..
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: * KINSKI CONTENT: ** FLESH: *
UNFAITHFULLY YOURS – Howard Zieff, 1983
NK is the wife of succesful conductor Dudley Moore. He becomes convinced that Armand Assante is having an affair with her and hatches a plan to kill them both. Needless to say, things don’t quite go as planned.
Dudley Moore stopped being funny when he left Peter Cook. ’10’ was dull, and this isn’t any better. It doesn’t bear up at all to repeated viewings – Dudley’s lack of acting ability comes close to outweighing the joy of Nastassja-watching.
There’s not enough NK in this film. This is clearly a Dudley Moore vehicle. Not a lot to recommend it to the fan, save another freeze-frame topless bit. Probably the worst film she’s appeared in.
ART: * ENTERTAINMENT: NONE! KINSKI CONTENT: *** FLESH: **
MARIA’S LOVERS – Andrei Konchalovsky, 1984
A veteran returns from the Second World War, meets his childhood sweetheart (NK) again and marries her. It is not a happy marriage for either of them and they separate to go their own ways.
Marginally interesting product, more arty than normal considering it’s a Golem/ Globus film. The acting is generally good, though after the previous one, anything would be a distinct improvement! Fairly depressing.
Posters for this depict NK on her back with someone’s head betweem her legs. Pretty hopeful, huh? Again, really very coy – even the scene where she resorts to self- stimulation is entirely inoffensive. Could have been a lot better/worse.
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: ** KINSKI CONTENT: *** FLESH: ***
PARIS, TEXAS – Wim Wenders, 1984
Harry Dean Stanton comes out of the desert after vanishing several years ago. He goes to his brother, who has been looking after his son, takes him and tries to find his wife (NK). He does, but not quite where he expected…
Achingly beautiful film, with superb acting from all concerned, especially Harry Dean Stanton. The photography is excellent and is complemented superbly by Ry Cooder’s soundtrack. A movie of the open road, needs to be seen on the big screen to be truly appreciated.
NK doesn’t appear until near the end of the film, and (shockhorrorscandal) is BLONDE! At one point she threatens to take her clothes off but doesn’t – for once it wouldn’t have improved the film…
ART: * ENTERTAINMENT: **** KINSKI CONTENT: * FLESH: NONE!
HAREM – Roland Joffe, 1985.
An Arab sheik, played by Ben Kingsley, kidnaps a New York stockbroker (NK), and takes her away to be part of his harem. Gradually, she starts to appreciate his way of life, a strange mix of Middle Eastern historic and millionaire playboy – he goes out hawking with his entourage following in Landrovers.
An East-meets-West romance. Terribly unsubstantial – at the end, you don’t feel very much of anything at all. Doesn’t educate, entertain or inform; the two words to sum up this film are “So” and “what?”.
As you might expect from a film with such a title, there are lots of opportunities for flesh. Very little of it is NK’s though, with only one shot of her slipping into a swimming pool to awaken some interest in this otherwise dull movie.
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: * KINSKI CONTENT: **** FLESH: **
“One from the Heart” had been, in financial terms, a total disaster. It cost $26 million to make and took in just one million dollars. Surely it was not possible for Nastassja to take part in a bigger box-office flop than THAT. Wrong. Taking in the same amount, but weighing in at a cost of a massive $28 million, we have:
REVOLUTION – Hugh Hudson, 1985
Nastassja is the daughter of an aristocratic family who becomes a supporter of the growing American Revolution. She meets and falls in love with Al Pacino, a trapper who has also been caught up in it. They are split up during a battle, and Al is told she has been killed…
Not as bad as the reviews (it couldn’t be) – not a masterpiece, perhaps, but not a turkey. The battles are impressively staged and there are a few memorable scenes. Al Pacino is a bit miscast & NK does her best at a challenging role – remember, she is really German!
No sex, and not a lot of Kinski. The poster for this film, with Pacino in the fore- ground and NK lurking behind his shoulder, about sums it up. NK is looking pretty again, following a couple of films where she looked a lot like a mother of two.
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: *** KINSKI CONTENT: ** FLESH: NONE!
And there, for the moment, her career rests; it wouldn’t do to ignore the careers of the rest of her family. Father Klaus is well known for appearing in literally hundreds of films, ranging from the classy (“The Return of Martin Guerre”) to the trashy (“Titan Find”); he is possibly best known for his performance as Nosferatu. His autobiography was going to be published in this country – unfortunately, since it said a lot of libellous things about almost everyone he’s known, especially Werner Herzog, it was withdrawn on legal advice (if you want to, you can catch him in the recently released videos “The Vampires of Venice”) . Less well known is Nastassja’s sister, Pola. I didn’t know she’s been in any films myself, until I caught one, almost by accident, in the late night slot on Thames TV. For the sake of completeness, the details I can recall of it are as follows:
YESTERDAY’S TOMORROWS – Wolfgang Staudte, 1978?
The film starts off originally, with the suicide of Pola’s character – the rest of the story is told in flashback. It takes place in Germany just after the end of the WW 2 and is the sad tale of Pola falling in love with, marrying, and finally being left by, an American officer.
Pola does have some of her sister’s looks, though without her ethereal beauty. The moive is strongly reminiscent of “Maria’s Lovers”, although set in Europe – it is a good example of a continental film; solid acting, gloomy story!
One area it differs from many European films is the lack of sex. However, since PK isn’t quite as pretty, this isn’t too worrying. She is on the screen a lot, though.
ART: *** ENTERTAINMENT: *** KINSKI CONTENT: **** FLESH: NONE!
That’s about that, filmwise. We’re not finished yet – next issue it’s quotes, anecdotes and THAT story from ‘Sunday’ magazine. Pass the cheese-cake.