Sunday, April 3, 2011

Klaus Kinski, Charlie Sheen, Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ, Savior: An evening with Klaus Kinski is now on You Tube. In German with English subtitles.

I had seen clips of this in Werner Herzog's documentary, Klaus Kinski, my Best Fiend.

Now film of Kinski's Jesus Christ one man show is on You Tube.

"Wanted: Jesus Christ. Charged with seduction [sic], anarchistic tendencies, conspiracy against the authority of the state."

It starts with a few catcalls from the audience. But they're no match for Kinski's intensity. They quickly quiet down. Then they yell again.

He tells them to shut up, He calls one heckler to come up on stage.

"I'm no great speaker, and maybe some of you are looking for Christ. But I don't think this is him. As far as I know, Jesus Christ was patient. If people contradicted him, he tried to convince them. He didn't say 'Shut up!'"

"NO! HE DIDN'T SAY, 'SHUT UP!' HE TOOK A WHIP AND BASHED THEM IN THE FACE! YOU STUPID PIG!" (It sounds cool when you say this in German.)

He tells them to get rid of the hecklers or they've wasted their money and he walks off stage.

We see him start his performance again, this time without hecklers. He is very intense. He doesn't interact with the audience. There's no more talk about bashing people in the face. His image of Jesus is somewhat more conventional.

He's an actor giving a performance, but the hecklers----they act like they're watching someone actually claiming to be the messiah and they want to argue. A man climbs up on stage. A security guard stops him but isn't sure whether to remove him or if Kinski will interact with him.

"I want to say something...I want to say something. I want to say something. I want to say something."

"Kick him off," Kinski finally says.

Security hustles the man off the the stage. Hecklers react as if Kinski has revealed that he's not really Jesus after all.

Kinksi walks off stage. He says he will return when the riffraff have been removed.

While Kinski is backstage, a man climbed up on stag and takes the mic.


"If you wouldn't scream into the mic we could understand you better," the theater manager says very calmly.

But the man screams some more into the microphone. He gives the mic back to the manager of the theater.

"This is a performance here," the manager says into the mic. "People don't have a right to just climb up on stage. Discussing we can do afterward. The people who would like this event to continue are asking you to step to the back and to stop interrupting and provoking Mr. Kinski. Please let him say his lines, and then you can say yours."

Well worth watching. Kinski stands still, clutching the microphone on a stand.

I'm not sure what the hecklers' problem was or what they paid ten marks to see. They started heckling from the beginning. Were they Christians? Were they anti-Christian? Did they think he thought he actually was Jesus Christ? Or did they think it was like one of those things where actors dress up like historical figures and walk around so people can talk to them and ask them questions about their time period.

On the other hand, if you're going to do a one-man show playing Jesus, speaking directly to the audience, you have expect some problems.

And Charlie Sheen
Kinski mentions at the end that he was reciting 30 pages of script in his performance.

But I'm not clear on what Charlie Sheen is doing. It doesn't sound like he's following a script. But he kicked off his 20-stop tour titled Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option in Detroit. The show was in a 5,100 seat theater and was sold out.

According to The Guardian, they sold T-shirts that said "Bangin' 7 g's", a reference to Sheen's drug intake, and a hat that said "I'm not Bi-Polar".

According to The Guardian:
Things started well for him. His sneers at his former show, Two and a Half Men prompting cheers from the audience. But when he spoke, it was a mix of incoherencies and vitriol: "I used my power against them and stuffed their arms down their gaping throats. No time to take their stinking toupees because this warlock was on the move!" he bellowed.

"Smoke some more crack, Charlie!" someone shouted. The underrated Joaquin Phoenix 2010 mockumentary, I'm Still Here – about a Hollywood star who suffers a mental breakdown and is bullied by the public – suddenly looked shockingly prescient. Heartbreakingly, clips of Sheen from Platoon and Wall Street played on screen while Sheen himself stumbled about on stage. He tried to show a film he made in the 1980s with Johnny Depp, but the boos prompted an early end to that.

"Maybe it's more appropriate for me to tell some crack stories," he said.

The audience cheered.

"What do you want me to talk about?" he asked a member of the audience.

"I want to hear about the porn stars!"

"Why do you want to hear about that?" he asked, disappointed.

It was a classic misunderstanding: he thought they loved him for his fearless honesty; they did, but only in regards to his intake of crack and porn.

"OK, OK, I'll do some crack stories," he relented, desperately.
They made it sound like the show was entirely extemporaneous. But the E! Online blog mentioned skits and a stand up comedian being booed as he did and opening act.

It was only the first stop on the tour. It might get better. But decades of hard living have no doubt taken their grim toll.

1 comment:

John Kettner said...

Kinski certainly was giant amonst men and his play JESUS CHRIST SAVIOR was spectacular and very truthful regarding the evil of priests and lawmakers!