Phoenix Cinema. Parts II and III. The Dragonfly’s Eye

Phoenix Cinema. Parts II and III. The Dragonfly’s Eye

Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge

Phoenix Cinema. Parts II and III. The Dragonfly’s Eye

Admission starts at $5

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June 15, 2024, 3pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Saturday, June 15 at 3pm and 5pm for The Dragonfly’s Eye​, Parts II and III of Phoenix Cinema: Meeting with Alexander Kluge, a special series featuring works by and discussions with the filmmaker and author. 

The Dragonfly’s Eye​ comprises two screenings showcasing Kluge’s exploration of new moving-image technologies, particularly his use of artificial-intelligence, in films described by Kluge as shot by “virtual camera.” In these works, Kluge engages with music, opera, philosophy, and critical theory, most particularly the ideas of the Frankfurt School, synthesizing Marxist thought and psychoanalysis in order to address the socio-political structures that shape modern life. These interdisciplinary themes are woven into his short films, creating a space for discussion with the audience that will be facilitated by Kluge’s Kluge’s pre-recorded commentary and participation via video call.

According to Kluge, “something like a VIRTUAL CAMERA has existed in our heads the entire time (as well as in our skin’s sense of foreboding and other subtle, mole-like tunnels of perception). Long before technical devices such as the ‘magic lantern’ and, later, the classic film camera were invented. The ‘camera in our head,’ though not the same as the film cameras that came later, does something similar. Most importantly, it doesn’t just capture photographic documents. It registers, processes, and responds in feeling, it ‘sets things in motion.‘” This perspective underscores Kluge’s innovative approach to filmmaking, emphasizing the continuity between human perception and technological advancements in capturing and interpreting reality.

The two-part afternoon includes pre-recorded commentary by and a live conversation with Alexander Kluge.


3pm: Part I
With live Q&A with Alexander Kluge

Grotesque Cinema 
Seven Faces of Baron von Munchausen (54’)
The Elephant as a Club (1:26’)
Munchausen with a Bear as a Club (1:25’)
Ghost Story – 1000 Years of War in the Middle East (5:54’)
At the End of the Trunk the Gear (4:24’)

Gone With the Wind
American Civil War (1861-1865) (5:56’)
Assassination of Abraham Lincoln at the Theatre (1:34’)

On War 
Mondrian Machine No. 7 (2:43’)
The Astonishment of the Animals (2:34’)
Ballad of the Sunken Rocket Cruiser (2:26’)
The Weather Tames the War (5:36’)
Napoleon and Fate as a Cat (4’)
Episode from Napoleon’s Winter Campaign of 1812 in Russia (2:01’)

Napoleon Loses His Empire in Spain (1:56’)
Digital Transpositions of Two Images of Francisco Goya: Los Desastres de la Guerra / El Caballo Raptor 1810-1820 (6:43’)
Saturn (Chronos) Devours His Children (3:03’)

5pm: Part II
With pre-recorded commentary by Alexander Kluge

From Cinema to Opera 
The Night Battle of Guadalcanal (2:34’)
Troja Burning (2:48’), There Was a Young Lady of Troy (2:45’)
Adventures of Odysseus with the Sirens Commentary to Dialectic of Enlightenment (6:33’)

Dialectic of Enlightenment / The Frankfurt School
Reason is a Balancing Animal (2:41’)
We Philosophers from Eve’s Rib with Pictures of Adele Röder (2:22’)
Max Horkheimer – Philosopher and Sociologist (2:06’)
The Mammoth’s Homecoming, a Composition of Th. W. Adorno in the Year 1941 (1:31’) / Adorno is not just a theorist and philosopher, he was also a composer and student
of Alban Berg in Vienna. The text of the short song goes: “What’s driving there, on a cart and stretches out his long trunk?/ It is a mammoth! It is a mammoth! It is a mammoth which wants to go home.”
Attack on a Thick Glass Door (1:52’)
The Revolution is a Creature Full of Surprises (6:10’)
An Opera That Sparked a Revolution / With pictures by James Ensor and Alexander Kluge (7:37’) / The opera The Mute Girl of Portici tells the story of a young mute woman in Naples who is seduced by a prince. The prince abandons her and marries a princess. The mute woman has to watch and cannot protest. This opera by Auber is the only one in which no soprano sings. At its premiere in Brussels in 1831, the audience was so outraged by the girl who suffers and cannot express it, that they marched to the Palace of Justice and triggered the Belgian Revolution—one of the few liberal revolutions.

Electric Spark in the Time of Enlightenment (6:51’)
There Was a Young Lady of Bright (2:56 min)
The Age of Enlightenment Responds to the Destruction of Lisbon 1755 (5:06’)
Pursuit of Happiness / Mother Brings Food (3:05’)
Rules for Crying (3:44’)
Twilight of the Gods in Vienna (3:34’)

The Temple of the Scapegoat. The Opera 
Love and Intrigue… / Triptych Film Based on Verdi’s Opera Luisa Miller(2:39’)
The Deadly Triangle / Triptych (0:52’)
The Deadly Triangle No. 2 / AI (1:58’), All Souls of Russia Point with Their Roots in the Direction to Heaven with Georg Baselitz and Sergej Eisenstein (3:03’)
The Violin Aria From Medea In Corinto by Giovanni Simone Mayr (3:13’)
Katharina Grosse and Alexander Kluge, The Sound of the Planet Uranus and the Song of the Gorillas (9:13’)

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, Germany, Artificial intelligence
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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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