Together with the upcoming evening around the work of Christoph Schlingensief, this screening links up with the two-part program ‘Kluge/Schlingensief’ that Art Cinema OFFoff is organizing on 4 and 11 October in Sphinx Cinema and Kunsthal Gent.
Alexander Kluge (1932) is one of the founders of the ‘Neuer Deutscher Film’, a movement that doesn’t avoid confrontation with the disconcerting German past. Following in this tradition, director and artist Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010) considered him to be one of his mentors, but the inspiration was mutual. Kluge’s practice in making films or television programs – in which Schlingensief was a regular guest – is inextricably linked to his theoretical views on the moving image. This translates into a disparate style that combines a very diverse palette of visual material – documentary and fictional as well as historical and current – with an ambivalent soundtrack, brought together in a non-linear narrative and consisting of short and medium-length scenes that start and end abruptly. Kluge does not want a passive viewer. He facilitates the creation of meaning by the audience by using an open and intuitive approach to their own imagination, which he calls “fantasy”.
Orphea is Kluge’s most recent film in collaboration with Filipino filmmaker Khavn. The film is a 21st century interpretation of the Orpheus myth. He chooses to reverse the gender of the two protagonists of the original Greek myth and to make Orphea the central character, unlike Orpheus. The focus of the film is almost entirely on Orphea’s search for her beloved Euridiko (Eurydice in the original). The central role of music in the myth remains, although the duo transforms the piece into a rock opera in grotesque settings. The surreal surface serves as a framework to present a politically and socially charged total work for the new millennium.