Alexander Kluge

Alexander Kluge

Darsteller, Regie, Regie-Assistenz, Drehbuch, Bauten, Schnitt, Musik, Sonstiges, Produzent, Produktionsleitung
*14.02.1932 Halberstadt

Biography

Alexander Kluge, who as a writer has not only created innovative films and TV formats but also important literary texts and theoretical essays, was born 1932 as the son of a physician in Halberstadt. After finishing school in Halberstadt and in Berlin, he began his intellectual career and studied law, history, and church music in Marburg and in Frankfurt am Main where he attended lectures by Theodor W. Adorno, among others. At the age of 24, he obtained his PhD with his doctoral dissertation "Die Universitätsselbstverwaltung".

In 1958, he became an assessor and started to work as a lawyer in Berlin and in Munich. At the same time, he also started his career as a writer and artist and devoted himself to film. Kluge made his first experiences with the film business under legendary filmmaker Fritz Lang who had returned from exile. Kluge was a trainee at Artur Brauner's production company CCC when Lang directed "Das indische Grabmal" ("The Indian Tomb") for CCC. In 1960, Kluge finished his first short film in Munich together with Peter Schamoni. "Brutalität in Stein" ("Brutality in Stone") dealt with the topic of Nazi architecture (the footage later appeared in an episode of "Die Zweite Heimat" - "Heimat II" by Edgar Reitz).

In 1962, Kluge was one of the filmmakers who signed the "Oberhausen Manifest" that announced the claim to create the "New German Film". In the same year, Kluge, Edgar Reitz, and Detten Schleiermacher took over the direction of the film department of Ulm's Hochschule für Gestaltung. Furthermore, Kluge set up his own production company Kairos-Film that exists until today. In addition, he was one of the founding members of Kuratorium Junger Deutscher Film and was involved in the legal regulation of film subsidy, a topic that he had already dealt with as a lawyer.

But it took several years until the theoretically postulated removal of the "old" cinema had been put into action. Again, it was Kluge who made the internationally appreciated breakthrough for "New German Cinema" with his programmatically titled feature-length film debut "Abschied von gestern" ("Yesterday Girl", 1966). In several other essay films like "Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos" ("The Artists Under The Big Top: Perplexed", 1968) or "Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin" ("Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave", 1973), Kluge further developed his associative-analytical style. He portrayed his father in the short film "Ein Arzt aus Halberstadt" (1970) who as a so called "opera doctor" went to theatre performances every night in case of emergencies. The opera as "generator of feelings" is a recurring theme in Kluge's works.

Together with Edgar Reitz, Kluge finished "In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod" ("In Danger and Dire Distress the Middle of the Road Leads to Death", 1974) and participated in several political collective film projects: "Deutschland im Herbst" ("Germany in Autumn", 1978), "Der Kandidat" ("The Candidate", 1980), and "Krieg und Frieden" ("War and Peace", 1983). Although the form of his films did not produce any star actors as such, Hannelore Hoger still came close to this status. Furthermore, Kluge's sister Alexandra repeatedly appeared as an actress in his films.

Kluge was always concerned with film and culture politics. His first publication was the essay "Kulturpolitik und Ausgabenkontrolle" (1960). From 1964 on, he also published novels like "Schlachtbeschreibung", stories, and essays. Most recently, he published "Die Lücke, die der Teufel lässt" in 2003. Kluge has won several important awards for his work as a writer: the Fontane award (1979), the Kleist award (1985), the Lessing award (1990), the Heinrich Böll award (1993), the Ricarda Huch award (1996), the Schiller award (2001), or the Georg Büchner award (2003).

In 1973, Kluge was appointed honorary professor at Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Universität in Frankfurt am Main and started his collaboration with the sociologist Oskar Negt. Together they published "Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung" (1973), "Geschichte und Eigensinn" (1981), "Maßverhältnisse des Politischen" (1992), and "Der unterschätzte Mensch" (2001), among other works. Furthermore, he formulated his deliberations on film and media theory in "Bestandsaufnahme - Utopie Film" (1983) and other publications. Kluge's thinking is influenced by Walter Benjamin, by the Frankfurt school, and by Habermas – the term "public" is most important for him.

When commercial television became more and more popular in 1980s Germany, Kluge made use of a law that obligated the TV channels to supply time slots for independent cultural magazines. To carry out his idea of "publisher television", he set up the production company dctp (Development Company for Television Programs) in 1988. The SPIEGEL publishing house and others participated in this company. Initially, dctp made broadcasts on RTL and SAT 1, and from 1993 on, also on the new TV channel VOX. dctp even had shares in the station and temporarily took over the direction during a crisis of the TV channel in 1994.

Kluge's TV formats include the cultural magazines "Prime Time/Spätausgabe", "10 vor 11/Ten to Eleven", and "News & Stories". Until today, he broadcasts unusual documentary insights and historic side glances on a weekly basis. Thus, for him it came true what he had made his leading character from "Die Artisten...", Leni Peickert, say in 1968: "Someday, everything grows together – the love for your cause, the novels, and TV technology."

In the course of the 2008 German film awards, Kluge received the honorary award for his "outstanding contributions to the German film over the years".

Filmography

2016/2017 Werner Nekes - Das Leben zwischen den Bildern
Participation
 
2013 Die neun Rebellen von Oberhausen
Participation
 
2011/2012 Mensch 2.0 - Die Evolution in unserer Hand
Director, Screenplay, Executive producer
 
2010 So wie wir hier zusammen sind
based on
 
2009 Nachrichten vom Tausendfüßler
Director, Screenplay
 
2009 Beinahe wären wir Römer geworden
Director, Screenplay
 
2009 Der Deutschlandkomplex
Director
 
2009 Früchte des Vertrauens
Director
 
2008 Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike - Marx/Eisenstein/Das Kapital
Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
2007 Das Fahrzeug ist die zweite Haut
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2007 Der Abschrecker
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
2006-2008 Gegenschuss - Aufbruch der Filmemacher
Participation
 
2006 Musik im Fahrtwind
Participation
 
2006 Schnitte in Raum und Zeit
Participation
 
2002 Der gefrorene Blitz
Director, Screenplay
 
2000 Bernd Eichinger. Wenn das Leben zum Kino wird
Consultant
 
199? Triebwerkhusten
Director, Screenplay
 
1998 News & Stories: Curt Siodmak
Director
 
1994/1995 Die Nacht der Regisseure
Participation
 
1991 Schneeweissrosenrot
Participation
 
1989/1990 Neues vom Tage. Die plebejische Nachricht. Ein Raster in fünf Teilen
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1988 Changing Time (Quickly)
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1985/1986 Vermischte Nachrichten
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1985 Filmgeschichte(n). Die Stunde der Filmemacher
Cast, Director, Producer
 
1984/1985 Der Angriff der Gegenwart auf die übrige Zeit
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1983/1984 Auf der Suche nach einer praktisch realistischen Haltung
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1981-1983 Die Macht der Gefühle
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Co-Producer
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 01. Episode: Rahmenhandlung
Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 03. Episode: Vom Standpunkt der Infanterie
Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
1981-1983 Krieg und Frieden. 02. Episode: Der Friedensmarsch der Dreihunderttausend in Bonn
Director, Screenplay, Commentary
 
1980/1981 Das ist Film - Kluge, Godard und andere...
Participation
 
1980-1982 Zwischen den Bildern. 3. Über die Trägheit der Wahrnehmung
Participation
 
1980 Der Kandidat
Participation, Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews, Co-Producer
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Commentary, Interviews, Editing, Co-Producer
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 14: Die Beerdigung in Stuttgart
Director
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 09: Gabi Teichert
Director, Screenplay
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 12: Auf dem Parteitag der SPD in Hamburg
Director, Screenplay
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 11: Herbstlied von Tschaikowsky
Director, Screenplay
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 01: Prolog: Beerdigung von Hanns Martin Schleyer
Director
 
1977/1978 Deutschland im Herbst. Episode 03: Staatsakt für Hanns Martin Schleyer
Director
 
1977-1979 Die Patriotin
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1977 Die Menschen, die das Staufer-Jahr vorbereiten
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1977 Nachrichten von den Staufern
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1975/1976 Der starke Ferdinand
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1974 In Gefahr und größter Not bringt der Mittelweg den Tod
Director, Screenplay, Set design, Music, Producer
 
1973 Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1973 Biermann-Film
Director, Producer
 
1973 Die Reise nach Wien
Screenplay
 
1973 Besitzbürgerin, Jahrgang 1908
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1970 Zum Begriff des 'kritischen Kommunismus' bei Antonio Labriola (1843-1904)
Producer
 
1969/1977 Zu böser Schlacht schleich ich heut Nacht so bang
Director, Screenplay, Set design, Producer
 
1969/1970 Der große Verhau
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1969/1970 Wir verbauen 3 x 27 Millia. Dollar in einen Angriffsschlachter
Director, Screenplay, Unit production manager
 
1969/1970 Ein Arzt aus Halberstadt
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1969-1972 Willi Tobler und der Untergang der 6. Flotte
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1968 Feuerlöscher E. A. Winterstein
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1968 Die Erben von Papas Kino
Participation
 
1967/1969 Die unbezähmbare Leni Peickert
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1967/1968 Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: ratlos
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1967 Frau Blackburn, geb. 5. Jan. 1872, wird gefilmt
Voice, Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1966/1967 Mahlzeiten
Screenplay
 
1966 Das Pokerspiel
Director, Producer
 
1965/1966 Abschied von gestern
Voice, Director, Screenplay, based on, Producer
 
1965 Geist und ein wenig Glück
Participation
 
1964/1965 VariaVision. Unendliche Fahrt - aber begrenzt
Commentary
 
1964/1965 Porträt einer Bewährung
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1963 Die Ewigkeit von gestern
Director
 
1962/1963 Lehrer im Wandel
Director, Screenplay, Editing, Producer
 
1961 Thema Amore
Director, Screenplay
 
1961 Rennfahrer
Director, Producer
 
1961 Rennen
Director, Producer
 
1960/1961 Brutalität in Stein
Director, Screenplay, Producer
 
1958/1959 Das indische Grabmal
Intern
 
1958/1959 Der Tiger von Eschnapur
Intern