Saturday, June 25, 2011


I talked with Pathompong Manakitsomboon today about old films. It reminds me of what Alexander Kluge talked about some very interesting films made before 1907.

Here is an interview with Alexander Kluge in Bomb Magazine in 1989:

" You can repeat everything in history in a slow-motion alternative. This is what Walter Benjamin means, to repeat everything that’s happened, without producing the same result. The time-producing aspect of film is hidden in pre-Hollywood American films before 1907: in illustrated songs, vaudeville, tableaux cinema—which is extremely interesting, a cinema that only treats subjects the audience already knows like Uncle Tom, Caesar’s death, and soon. It’s rather epic, concentrating on one motion, one moment of a complete story. Robinson Crusoe on the day he met Friday, his first slave. Not the whole story, but just this moment. Everyone could add the rest of the story. It’s very modern.

The tableaux film existed for half a year, let’s say, when commercial film producers thought they could rationalize it, make it better for the audience by filling out the story, and then it died. The next type, the nickelodeon, also died. Then came the normal commercial cinema. But hidden in primitive diversity of pre-commercial cinema (but it was also paid for, of course), there are possibilities that could be repeated with the means of the ‘80s, and with much more time. This would be the next step of New German Cinema, the idea of myself and my friends. To repeat everything with more patience, better means, more time. It could be the same with music. Modern music must not be divided front the audience. Cinema, in alliance with the best parts of classical music, the best parts of literature, could invent new forms."

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