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Starting Tonight: A Vortex Retro - Alexander Kluge
Starting tonight, Cinema Vortex presents two of Alexander Kluge's feature films and a selection of short works rarely screened in the United States. Neu! (New!), a Vortex Retro focused on Kluge's films, starts tonight with a screening of Kluge's short films, including his first, "Brutality in Stone" ("Brutalität in Stein," 1960), an analysis of the Nazi system based on its architecture.
Born in 1932, Alexander Kluge studied law, history and choral music before training at film studios, working with master director Fritz Lang and others before making short films.
In 1962, Kluge co-authored the Oberhausen Manifesto, a declaration signed by twenty-six young German filmmakers at the International Short Film Festival. These filmmakers, famous for proclaiming "Papas kino ist tot!" (Papa's cinema is dead!), were forerunners of the New German Cinema, which exploded on the international film scene in the 1970s and 1980s.
Kluge's first feature film, YESTERDAY GIRL (1966), is the story of Anita G., a young Jewish woman from East Germany who tries to adjust to life in the West, although personal conflicts and frustrations confront her at every turn. Kluge's use of intertitles, non-synchronized sound and scenes that acknowledge the production process of the film – where members of the film crew speak to on-screen characters, for example, reveal the influence of Bertolt Brecht and Jean Luc-Godard.
In FERDINAND THE POWERFUL (1976), an explosion in the chemical plant where he is head of security nearly unhinges Ferdinand Rieche. Before long the former police detective is stalking about the factory with a stocking mask pulled over his head. A last-ditch attempt to demonstrate his security industry bona fides ends when he shoots a government minister in the backside. This dark comedy was such a departure from Kluge's style that some critics felt the need to reassure readers that, in spite of its straightforward narrative and lack of distancing devices, it was indeed an Alexander Kluge film.
Neu! Films by Alexander Kluge begins tonight at 7:00 pm with a screening of short films by Alexander Kluge.
The Vortex Retro continues on Saturday, April 29 with a screening of YESTERDAY GIRL at 2:00 pm and a screening of FERDINAND THE POWERFUL screens at 4:00 pm.
All screenings take place in the Auditorium of the Main Public Library, located at 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami. Admission to all screenings is FREE!
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