Paganini (1989 film)

Kinski Paganini, also known simply as Paganini, is a 1989 Italian-French biographical film written, directed by and starring Klaus Kinski. The story is based on the life and career of composer and virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini. It was Kinski's final film before his death in 1991.

Kinski Paganini
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKlaus Kinski
Produced byAugusto Caminito
Written byKlaus Kinski
StarringKlaus Kinski
Debora Caprioglio
Nikolai Kinski
Music byNiccolò Paganini
Salvatore Accardo
CinematographyPier Luigi Santi
Edited byKlaus Kinski
Distributed byFilmverleih Carsten Frank
Release date
  • 7 October 1989 (1989-10-07) (Germany)
Running time
81 minutes
Director's Cut: 95 minutes

The film also stars Kinski's young wife (Debora Kinski) and son (Nikolai Kinski) alongside him. Klaus Kinski felt that he and Paganini had led similar lives, and both gave "demonic" performances in their own fields that often sparked great controversy.

In his 1999 documentary My Best Fiend, frequent collaborator Werner Herzog explains that Kinski repeatedly asked him to direct the film, but Herzog refused because he thought the script was "unfilmable". Herzog also states that the preparation for his role in Kinski Paganini caused the actor to take on an uncomfortable "alien" air that disrupted Kinski's performance in their last film together, Cobra Verde.


A biopic about the life of Niccolò Paganini, who many consider to be one of the greatest violinists who ever lived.[1]


DVD release

Since its theatrical run, the film had only been released on DVD and VHS in Germany, but in late 2011, the film was released for the first time in North America on a two disc special edition DVD. The release contained deleted and extended scenes, the Cannes Film Festival interviews for the film, and both the theatrical and director's cut which added another 14 minutes of previously cut footage.[2]


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