Alexander Kluge

Born (1932) in Halberstadt, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. He studied history, law and music at the University of Marburg, Germany, and at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University of Frankfurt . He received his doctorate in law in 1956. While studying in Frankfurt, Kluge befriended the philosopher Theodor Adorno, who was teaching at the Institute for Social Research. At Adorno's suggestion, he began to investigate filmmaking, and in 1958, Adorno introduced him to German filmmaker Fritz Lang. Kluge directed his first film in 1960, Brutalität im Stein (Brutality in Stone), a twelve-minute, black and white, lyrical montage work. Kluge was one of twenty-six 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. Kluge is also one of the major German fiction writers of the late-20th century and an important social critic. He has also published numerous texts on literary, film and television criticism.


Why do I make films?


The medium already exists in people’s brains. You can find film in people’s mind since the Stone Age. Then we have the technical invention, which is more than 100 years old. Film existed before solely in our brain and our emotions. The films in our brain are not logical. They are full of illusion, temperament, and music. This world of associations has its own logic. Cinema should understand what it can do and not suppress film by thought. I believe in thought and ideas, but clear ideas have to respect what the camera does and what people can do.


“Fiction” has already been told by history or by reality. We are only giving you comments when we make a film or write a piece of literature. We do not guide you to a counter-reality. We only give you hints. We are like scouts. Take as an example my film News from Ideological Antiquity. Marx- Eisenstein-The Capital (Nachrichten aus Der Ideologischen Antike. Marx-Eisenstein-Das Kapital, 2008). This film shows the ways I employ Brechtian practices in the present. The author does not take any decisions. The author analyses or counter-analyses, or repeats, or makes comments. The spectator is asked to make her/his own associations.


Alexander Kluge


kairos film

Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), 2011 Biennale de Lyon