Special Events

Happy Lamento

by Alexander Kluge
Germany, 2018, 93', color, DCP
Screenplay: Alexander Kluge, Feat. Khavn
Thursday 30 August 2018
20:00 Sala Pasinetti Press, Industry
Sunday 02 September 2018
11:30 Sala Perla Tickets, All Accreditations
Followed by Q&A

screenplay
Alexander Kluge
Feat. Khavn

cinematography
Thomas Willke
Albert Banzon
Thomas Mauch
Erich Harandt

editing
Andres Kern
Kajetan Forstner
Roland Forstner
Toni Werner

music
Khavn
sound
Michael Kurz
Stephan Holl
Toni Werner

cast
Helge Schneider
Heiner Müller
Galina Antoschewskaja
Peter Berling

production
Kairos-Film
producers
Alexander Kluge
Stephan Holl

in collaboration with
Rapid Eye Movies
in association with
Feat. Khavn

"This is an auteur film - like the ones I made in the past. At the same time the film features the extraordinary young director Khavn from Manila. Taken together, the result is a music film of a special kind. At heart, the film concerns electric light, the circus, the song Blue Moon and street wars among children's gangs in North Manila, a wilderness otherwise inaccessible to western eyes. Blue Moon, the song once identified with the voice of Elvis Presley, refers to a phase of the moon that might never actually appear: just as things can often go with love. But sometimes "never" comes to pass. We see how the circus comes to town with the appearance of President Trump at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg in 2017; we see how the street wars of the children in Manila run on for years; Helge Schneider appears as a "human light snake" as in Edison's Annabelle: Serpentine Dance from 1895; my friend the dramatist Heiner Müller philosophizes about the moon; we hear a musical requiem for commodities that lie unpurchased on Saturday; we see the dramatic evacuation of a circus in Russia that tries to save its elephants as it flees from the German tanks in 1941; the peaceful grooming of elephants in the early morning stands in contrast to our world that is increasingly savage; the poet Ann Cotten appears in the role of King Kong - that cinematic hero who defends what he loves to the death. The images that one sees in this sequence are filmed through glass panels made by the artist Kerstin Braetsch in New York. This motif, with which the film comes to an end, is an adaption of my book Kong's Big Moment: Chronicle of Coherence. Elephants already appeared as prominent characters in my film Artists at the Top of the Big Top: Perplexed, which premiered in Venice 50 years ago. But how violently different look the pictures in Happy Lamento compared with the pictures of the world fifty years ago!"

 

Filmography

Selected filmography
2018 Happy Lamento
1986 Vermischte Nachrichten
1985 Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit
(The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time)
1983 Die Macht der Gefühle
(The Power of Emotion, doc)
1980 Der Kandidat (The Candidate, doc)
1979 Die Patriotin (The Patriotic Woman)
1978 Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn)
1976 Der starke Ferdinand (Strongman Ferdinand)
1974 In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod
(In Danger and Dire Distress the Middle of the Road Leads to Death)
1973 Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin
(Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave)
1968 Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos
(Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed)
1966 Abschied von Gestern
(Yesterday Girl)

Alexander Kluge (Halberstadt, 1932) is one of the leading intellectual voices in Germany today. His huge body of work can be regarded as a continuation, in words and moving images, of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. He is described, as a young man, as Adornos favorite son (Oskar Negt). The motives, themes, and formal strategies of Kluge's radical cinéma impur, raise questions on representation and gender, history and memory, theory in its relation to practice, and the ongoing vitality of modernism. Adorno introduced him 1958 to Fritz Lang for whom Kluge worked as an assistant on the making of Der Tiger von Eschnapur, 1959. He became one of twenty-six signatories to the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962, which marked the launch of the New German Cinema. His first feature film Abschied von Gestern (Yesterday Girl) won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1966, the first German entry since 1945 to garner the prize. His film Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos (Artists on Top of the big Top: Perplexes) won the golden Lion in 1968. In 2008 Kluge presented the almost nine hour film Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike: Marx/Eisenstein/Das Kapital (News from Ideological Antiquity: Marx/Eisenstein/Capital), a reinvention of Eisenstein's unfinished project of filming Capital by Karl Marx, and one of the most complex and monumental films of recent film history. Kluge is also one of the major German fiction writers of the late-20th century. His literary works are significant for their formal experimentation and insistently critical themes. As Rainer Werner Fassbinder wrote in 1982, his prose does "document, after all that it is one of his chief aims to call every kind of institution into question, particularly those of the state." Alexander Kluge's major works of social criticism include Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung, co-written with Oskar Negt and originally published in 1972 (Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere), and Geschichte und Eigensinn (History and Obstinacy), also co-authored with Negt. His most important exhibitions include: dctp - Alexander Kluge. The Interview as Artistic Form (ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2008), The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied (Fondazione Prada, Venice, 2017), Pluriversum (Museum Folkwang, Essen, 2017), Gardens of Cooperation (Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart and La Virreina, Barcelona, 2017) and The poetic power of Theory (Belvedere Haus 21, Vienna, 2018). His last books Geschichten vom Kino and Kongs große Stunde - Chronik des Zusammenhangs (Kongs' finest hours - Chronical of connections) have been published in Italia, 2017. At the beginning of September 2018 the newest book with Ben Lerner Snows on Venice will be released.

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