Phoenix Cinema. Part I. Alexander Kluge and Cinema

Phoenix Cinema. Part I. Alexander Kluge and Cinema

Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge

Phoenix Cinema. Part I. Alexander Kluge and Cinema

Admission starts at $5

June 13, 2024, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, June 13 at 7pm for Alexander Kluge and Cinema, the first and opening evening of Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge, a special series featuring works by and discussions with the filmmaker and author. This first part presents Kluge’s current reflections on the history of film and cinema’s role in society, alongside examples of his known cinematic works. Through the innovative use of AI films, and pre-recorded commentary and conversations, it showcases Kluge’s ongoing dialogue with the history of cinema and his evolving ideas about the medium.

Kluge’s cinematic career, beginning in the 1960s, was significantly influenced by his academic background and early collaboration with Fritz Lang. His internship at the Berlin CCC Film Studio in the 1950s, facilitated by Theodor Adorno, provided invaluable insights into filmmaking, blending practical experience with intellectual grounding. As a key figure in the New German Cinema movement and a signatory of the 1962 Oberhausen Manifesto, Kluge advocated for a politically engaged and artistically innovative German cinema. His directorial debut, Yesterday Girl (1966), marked the start of a prolific career, characterized by films like Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed (1968), Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave (1973), and The Power of Emotion (1983), among many others. 

Today, Kluge’s use of the “virtual camera”—creation of artificial-intelligence-based short films—enables him to revisit and reinterpret the history of cinema. This event will highlight how Kluge merges traditional filmmaking techniques with modern technology, offering a fresh perspective on cinema’s past and its ongoing influence on contemporary issues.

This event will present a selection of Kluge’s films, including pre-recorded commentary and conversations by and with Kluge.

With pre-recorded commentary and Q&A by Alexander Kluge

The artist and his daughter (1:03’)
Sam Remembers Papa Kong (0:42’)
The Goat Enters the City (1:29’) 
Sergej Eisenstein Stages Alexander Newski (1938) and Wagner‘s Walküre (1940) (2:57’)
The Gentle Makeup of Light (13:34’) / At night the headlights of the studio dream of their real lives.
Beginnings of Film Art (3:29’) / For me, the history of film began with Eadweard Muybridge in 1896. He used the camera like a scientist, not for illusion purposes. In the same year, the first modern Olympics started in Athens.
The Opera Singer in the Silent Film (4:43’)
Sarah Morris and Alexander Kluge, Mimosa Tank / Homage to the Genius Film Director Fritz Lang (excerpt, 5:44’) 
Yesterday Girl (1966, 90’) (excerpt, 1:32’)
E. A. Winterstein, Fire Extinguisher / With Alexandra Kluge (9:49’)
Song of Medea / With Alexandra Kluge and A.I. (3:01’)
Angela Wittlich, All Feelings Believe In a Happy Ending (2002, 78’) (three excerpts, (11:25’)
Théâtre Optique (4:02’)
Cinema Eterna (4:22’)

Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge unfolds in four parts taking place at e-flux Screening Room on June 13, 15, and 18, 2024, and in a six-part online screening on e-flux Film, with new films streaming each week from June 6–July 17, 2024. Read more about the series here. Watch the online screenings here.

For more information, contact program [​at​]

– Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.
– For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.
– e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Critical Theory
Experimental Film, Documentary, Artificial intelligence, Germany
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Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge (b. 1932) is an author, filmmaker, and lawyer. His research and practice revolves around film, literature, social theory, film theory, and political action on various cultural fronts. Kluge is credited with the launch of the New German Cinema movement, and his body of work can be regarded as a continuation of the Critical Theory of the Frankfurt School. His first feature film, Yesterday Girl, won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1966. In 1987, Kluge founded the television production company DCTP, which produces independent television slots on German commercial television. In 2008, he presented the almost-nine-hour-long News from Ideological Antiquity: Marx/Eisenstein/Capital—a reinvention of Eisenstein’s unfinished project of filming Capital by Karl Marx. Alexander Kluge’s major works of social criticism include Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung (Public Sphere and Experience) and History and Obstinacy, both co-written with Oskar Negt. His exhibitions include The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied (Fondazione Prada, Venice, 2017), Pluriversum (Museum Folkwang, Essen, 2017; Belvedere 21, Vienna, 2018). Together with the New York poet Ben Lerner, Kluge published The Snows of Venice in 2018. Just in time for the e-flux program in June 2024, his books The Dragonfly’s Eye - My Virtual Camera (AI) (Spector Books) and War Primer (Seagull Books) will be published in English.

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