Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge (born February 14 1932 in Halberstadt, in the vicinity of Magdeburg, Germany) is a noted film director and author.

Early life

After growing up during the Second World War, he studied law, history and music at the universities of Marburg and Frankfurt am Main, receiving his doctorate in law in 1956. While studying in Frankfurt, Kluge befriended the philosopher Theodor Adorno, who had returned to Germany and was teaching at the Institute for Social Research, or Frankfurt School. Kluge served as a legal counsel for the Institute, and began writing his earliest stories during this period. At Adorno's suggestion, he also began to investigate filmmaking, and in 1958, Adorno introduced him to German filmmaker Fritz Lang.

Cinematic Works

Kluge directed his first film in 1960, "Brutalität im Stein" (Brutality in Stone), a 12-minute, black and white, lyrical montage work which, against the German commercial ("Papa's Kino") cinematic amnesia of the prior decade, inaugurated an exploration of the Nazi past. The film premiered in 1961 at what would become the premiere showcase for the new generation of German filmmakers, the Oberhausen Festival. Kluge was one of 27 signatories to the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962, which marked the launch of the New German Cinema. That same year, with filmmakers Edgar Reitz and Detlev Schleiermacher, Kluge established the Ulm Institut für Filmgestaltung, to promote the critical and aesthetic practices of Young German Film and the New German Cinema.

He has gone on to direct a number of important films, which are notable because of their inherent critiques of commercial cinema and television through the creation of a "counter-public sphere" and their deployment of experimental forms, including montage. They include "Yesterday Girl" (1966), an adaptation of Kluge's story "Anita G."; ("Artists under the Big Top: Perplexed") (1968); and "The Assault of the Present on the Rest of Time" (1985).

* 1973 "Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin" (Director / Screenwriter)
* 1978 "Deutschland im Herbst" (Director / Screenwriter)
* 1979 "Die Patriotin" (Director / Producer)
* 1980 "Der Kandidat" (Director)
* 1982 "Biermann-Film" (Director)
* 1983 "Die Macht der Gefühle" (Director / Producer / Actor: Narrator / Screenwriter)
* 1983 "Krieg und Frieden" (Director / Screenwriter / Book Author)
* 1985 "Vermischte Nachrichten" (Director / Producer / Screenwriter)
* 1986 "The Blind Director" (Director / Screenwriter)
* 1989 "Schweinegeld, Ein Märchen der Gebrüder Nimm" (Producer)
* 1995 "Die Nacht der Regisseure" (Actor: Himself (uncredited))

Literary Works

:"We don't perceive a contradiction between writing books, making films or producing a television program. These days you can't choose how you want to express yourself anymore." ::—Alexander Kluge

Kluge is also one of the major German fiction writers of the late 20th century and an important social critic. His fictional works, which tend toward the short story form, are significant for their formal experimentation and insistently critical thematics. Constituting a form of analytical fiction, they utilize techniques of narrative disruption, mixed genres, interpolation of non-literary texts and documents, and perspectival shifts. The texts frequently employ a flat, ironic tone. One frequent effect approximates what Viktor Shklovsky and the Russian Formalists identified as defamiliarization or "ostranenie". Kluge has used several of the stories as the bases for his films. The important texts include:

* 1962 "Lebensläufe" ("Case Histories", also published earlier in English as "Attendance List for a Funeral")—this collection includes the story "Anita G.," which Kluge adapted in cinematic form as "Yesterday Girl".
* 1964 "Schlachtbeschreibung" ("The Battle")
* 1973 "Lernprozesse mit tödlichem Ausgang" ("Learning Processes with a Deadly Outcome")—this work is one of Kluge's original contributions to the science fiction genre.
* 1977 "" ("New Histories: Notebooks 1–18: "The Uncanniness of Time")"—a remarkable collection of several hundred stories, some only a page long, interspersed with documents, charts and images.
* 1984 "Die Macht der Gefühle" ("The Power of Feelings")
* 2003 "Die Lücke, die der Teufel läßt." ("The Devil's Blind Spot")—this collection of 500 stories includes some earlier works; an abridged English-language version appeared in 2004.
* 2006 "Tür an Tür mit einem anderen Leben. 350 neue Geschichten."—a collection of 350 new stories published in September.

Two anthologies were published in 2000 and 2001 which together contain the central works of Kluge's and Oskar Negt's collaborative philosophy as well as Kluge's literary work. Some new material was published in each edition.

* 2000 "Chronik der Gefühle" ("Chronicle of Feeling")—published as two volumes ("Basisgeschichten" and "Lebensläufe") including the works "Schlachtbeschreibung", "Lernprozesse mit tödlichen Ausgang", "Lebensläufe" and "Neue Geschichten". Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
* 2001 "Der unterschätzte Mensch" ("The Undervalued Man")—a two volume edition including "Suchbegriffe" (26 conversations and interviews first published in a book format), "Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung", "Die Maßverhältnisse des Politischen" (a completely updated and revised edition Oskar Negt's and Alexander Kluge's critique of Realpolitik), and "Geschichte und Eigensinn". Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins.

His awards include the Italian Literature Prize Isola d'Elba in 1967, and almost every major German-language literary prize, including the Heinrich von Kleist Prize in 1985 and the Heinrich-Böll-Preis in 1993. In 2003, he received Germany's highest literary award, the Georg-Büchner-Preis.

Kluge's major work of social criticism is "Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung. Zur Organisationsanalyse von bürgerlicher und proletarischer Öffentlichkeit", co-written with Oskar Negt and originally published in 1972. It has been translated into English as "Public Sphere and Experience: Toward an Analysis of the Bourgeois and Proletarian Public Sphere". He has also published numerous texts on literary, film and television criticism, and received the Hanns-Joachim-Friedrich Prize for TV Journalism in 2001.

External links

* [ IMDb entry]
* [ Senses of Cinema: Great Directors Critical Database]
* [ Alexander Kluge]
* [ Hans-Ulrich Obrist's Interview with Alexander Kluge]
* [ Kluge-Müller interviews via Cornell University]
* [ Lohengrin in Leningrad] excerpted from "Cinema Stories", featured in "SOFT TARGETS v.2.1"
* download movies
* download movies
* Complete documentation of pictures and texts from his films (Portuguese website)

NAME= Kluge, Alexander
SHORT DESCRIPTION=German film director and author
DATE OF BIRTH=February 14, 1932
PLACE OF BIRTH= Halberstadt, near Magdeburg, Germany

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