Kinski Paganini is a 1989 film based on the life and career of composer and virtuoso violinist Niccolò Paganini. The movie was written and directed by Klaus Kinski, who also performs the lead role. It was to be Kinski's final film before his death in 1991.
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 says Kinski repeatedly asked him to direct the film, but he, 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.
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.