By Alexander KLUGE


Social issues - Completed 2018

& Awards

Venice Days / Giornate degli Autori 2018
Special Events
    • Year of production
    • 2018
    • Genres
    • Social issues
    • Countries
    • Director(s)
    • Alexander KLUGE
    • Synopsis

    • "This is an auteur film - like the ones I made in the past. At the same time the film features the extraordinary young director Khavn from Manila. Taken together, the result is a music film of a special kind. At heart, the film concerns electric light, the circus, the song Blue Moon and street wars among children's gangs in North Manila, a wilderness otherwise inaccessible to western eyes. Blue Moon, the song once identified with the voice of Elvis Presley, refers to a phase of the moon that might never actually appear: just as things can often go with love. But sometimes "never" comes to pass. We see how the circus comes to town with the appearance of President Trump at the G-20 Summit in Hamburg in 2017; we see how the street wars of the children in Manila run on for years; Helge Schneider appears as a "human light snake" as in Edison's Annabelle: Serpentine Dance from 1895; my friend the dramatist Heiner Müller philosophizes about the moon; we hear a musical requiem for commodities that lie unpurchased on Saturday; we see the dramatic evacuation of a circus in Russia that tries to save its elephants as it flees from the German tanks in 1941; the peaceful grooming of elephants in the early morning stands in contrast to our world that is increasingly savage; the poet Ann Cotten appears in the role of King Kong - that cinematic hero who defends what he loves to the death. The images that one sees in this sequence are filmed through glass panels made by the artist Kerstin Braetsch in New York. This motif, with which the film comes to an end, is an adaption of my book Kong's Big Moment: Chronicle of Coherence. Elephants already appeared as prominent characters in my film Artists at the Top of the Big Top: Perplexed, which premiered in Venice 50 years ago. But how violently different look the pictures in Happy Lamento compared with the pictures of the world fifty years ago!"