NACHRICHTEN AUS DER IDEOLOGISCHEN ANTIKE (NEWS FROM IDEOLOGICAL ANTIQUITY)
With Hannelore Hoger, Charlotte Müller, Thomas Niehaus, Oksana Bulgakowa, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Sophie Rois, Durs Grünbein, Helge Schneider, Sophie Kluge
Production: Kairos Film
The theatrical cut of Alexander Kluge’s epic length video work “News from Ideological Antiquity – Marx/Eisenstein/Capital” (2008) could be considered as notes from notes from notes on Das Kapital. This inheritance of texts, across media and languages, is what informs the central discourse of Kluge’s collage work. After the completion of October (1928), director Sergej M. Ejzenštejn set out to adapt Karl Marx’s Das Kapital as filtered through James Joyce’s Ulysses.
The project was, of course, not realized and this is precisely the fact from which Kluge’s launches his investigation as to whether the book can be adapted at all.
Using archival footage, seemingly endless amount of on-screen text, reading sessions accompanied by piano scores, interviews with historians, agit-poetry by Bertolt Brecht based on the Communist Manifesto and even an overstaying, outsourced short film directed by Tom Tykwer,
Kluge examines the possible ways in which the gargantuan socioeconomic text can be realized in popular art forms. Such an effort, as Kluge illustrates, becomes especially challenging in film since it would mean attempting to capture the abstract nature of capital in the concrete events and things around us. Kluge, it appears, likes to see this as an ever-evolving process, driven by the development of technology (unlike Ejzenštejn, Kluge doesn’t have to worry about film stock), in which he is but only a connecting link.