The Eiffel Tower, King Kong, and the White Woman: A typical magazine from the start-up period of the independent television window in private broadcast TV. All traditional possibilities for expression in film and many types of television are experimented with: Editing, collage, multiple exposure, narrative interlacing. It deals with the opera, the French Revolution, the Eiffel tower, hit songs from 1932, and Walter Benjamin. Headless Man: Ballads and murder ballads are elemental narrative styles that are the precursor to the cinema. They relate destinies and emotion. A tiger saves a young maiden from a Turkish man; a stepmother kills the child she was entrusted with. But how do you tell about the construction work at dusk in the ruins of the Twin Towers or about Amok? Additional texts from his work at television in the booklet and as ROM features.
The filmsDie Afrikanerin oder Liebe mit tödlichem Ausgang / The African Woman or Love with a Deadly Finale
- With Michael Rehberg and Sabina Trooger - First aired on May 2, 1988, dtcp on RTL - "Her name was Aida. He was a liar. Both were buried alive." The paths to love and the great content of the opera are related like cousins. In "The African," the celebrated opera by Giacomo Meyerbeer, a beautiful Indian princess saves the life of the Portuguese admiral Vasco da Gama.Die Guillotine oder die Kategorie der Plötzlichkeit / The Guillotine or the Category of Suddenness
- With Karl-Heinz Bohrer - First aired on May 30, 1988, dtcp on RTL - 200th Anniversary, French Revolution. The pharmacist Guillotine invents a machine for decapitation. Humans come into existence and grow up slowly. It is a shock to them to die so quickly. Karl-Heinz Bohrer, a famous essayist and publisher of the monthly journal Merkur, reports on this machine. "The category of suddenness and the conception of terror."Der Eiffelturm, King Kong und die weiße Frau / The Eiffel Tower, King Kong, and the White Woman
- With Ulli Hartmut and Silke Rein - First aired on December 26, 1988, dtcp on RTL - A typical culture magazine from 1988. All types of older films, television, traditional editing, double exposure, and modern interlacing are experimented with. From submarines and astronomers, to saving monuments and women and swimming contests on horses.Antiquitäten der Reklame / Artifacts of Advertising
- With Sabina Trooger and Alfred Edel - First aired on November 14, 1988, dtcp on RTL - Forgotten ads, lost objects, advertising film as art. It's about advertising and marketing in times long past. With Alfred Edel: He was a legendary actor in auteur films, although he was actually a professional advertising consultant.Das Fliegerlied / The Pilot's Song
- First aired on October 17, 1988, dtcp on RTL - Song from 1932: "From the North Pole to the South Pole, it's just a short hop." The case of a famous pilot's suicide. A grand total of twelve musical films. The great novel by Robert Musil, "The Man without Qualities," and the films and songs from the period tell the story of the same attitude toward life.Wilde Nacht mit Mond / Wild Night with Moon
- First aired on February 11, 1990, dtcp on RTL - Paul Klee and Walter Benjamin described an "angel of history." The heavy gale blowing in from paradise propels this angel into the future. The movie is dedicated to Joris Ivens.Mann ohne Kopf / Headless Man
- A reading by Alexander KlugeWoher stammt das Lied "Die Fahne hoch"? / What Is the Origin of the Song: "The Flag on High"?
- With Alexander Kluge - First aired on December 18, 1994, dtcp on RTL - Originally the marching song "The Flag on High," which had been part of Germany's national anthem, had an entirely different text. The song actually had its origins in a ballad: "A man wanted to ride home in order to visit his wife and child. That was the reason."Die Zeit, die vergehen muß, damit eine Zuschauermenge Initiative ergreift / The Time That Must Pass Before an Audience Takes the Initiative
- A reading by Alexander KlugeBleib steh'n, Wanderer, und lies / Stop, Stranger, and Read
- With Durs Grünbein - First aired on October 21, 1996, dtcp on RTL - The Dresden poet Durs Grünbein published a book entitled "To The Dear Dead: 33 Epitaphs." It enlisted the use of an ancient literary style: The dead speak to passers-by.Nur Gott hat zugesehen / Only God Witnesses It
- With Ulrike Sprenger - First aired on September 9, 2002, dtcp on RTL - Murder ballads, ballads, and newspaper images tell humane and terrible stories. Dr. Ulrike Sprenger, who compiled the Proust ABC, reports on "the power of simple images."N.Y. Ground Zero
- Camera by Walter Lenertz - First aired on July 7, 2002, dctp on SAT 1 - Dusk at a construction site situated at the foot of where the Twin Towers once stood: "Public wounds heal slowly." With music by the New York composer Glenn Branca.Raubengel / Preying Angel
- A reading by Alexander KlugeDer Untergang der Titanic / The Sinking of the Titanic
- First aired on January 19, 2003, dtcp on RTL - In 1912 the Titanic sunk. In retrospect the event appears like a number that refers to the subsequent catastrophes of the 20th century. Hans Magnus Enzensberger developed unforgettable metaphors in an epic with 33 songs.Solange die Notenblätter reichen / As Long As the Sheet Music Lasts
- A reading by Alexander KlugeDie Rache der betrogenen Braut / The Revenge of the Betrayed Bride
- With Ulrike Sprenger - First aired on May 16, 1994, dctp on SAT 1 - Destinies and emotion: An eagle kidnaps a child; a tiger saves a persecuted woman; a lieutenant robs a maiden of her innocence; a young lady must watch as her lover betroths another.Die neun Unzertrennlichen / The Inseparable Nine
- A reading by Alexander Kluge - First aired on May 16, 1994, dctp on SAT 1Amok. Das Ende der Einfühlung / Amok. The End of Empathy
- With Joseph Vogl - First aired on August 4, 2002, dctp on SAT 1 - The Europeans were shocked by the Asian gunmen running amok in the 19th century: The perpetrators acted like "misanthropists", killing friend and foe with the same brutality. In the meantime the gunmen running amok have established themselves in the West as a public symbol as well. However there are no ballads or murder ballads to recount their stories.
Germany 1988-2008 - Directed and written by: Alexander Kluge - Cinematography by: Michael Christ, Heribert Kansy, Walter Lenertz, Werner Lüring, Thomas Willke - Edited by: Kajetan Forstner, Andreas Kern, Marcel Peragine - Contributors: Roland Forstner, Erich Harandt, Michael Kurz, Meinhard Prill, Toni Werner, Beata Wiggen, Arno Wilms - Produced by: Kairos-Film, München
DVD features (2-disc DVD)
- Die Afrikanerin oder Liebe mit tödlichem Ausgang 1988, 24'
- Die Guillotine oder die Kategorie der Plötzlichkeit 1988, 24'
- Der Eiffelturm, King Kong und die weiße Frau 1988, 24'
- Antiquitäten der Reklame 1988, 24'
- Das Fliegerlied 1988, 22'
- Wilde Nacht mit Mond 1990, 16'
- 12 page booklet with texts by Alexander Kluge
- Mann ohne Kopf 2007, 2'
- Woher stammt das Lied "Die Fahne hoch"? 1994, 9'
- Die Zeit, die vergehen muß, damit eine Zuschauermenge Initiative ergreift 2007, 4'
- Bleib steh'n, Wanderer, und lies 1996, 15'
- Nur Gott hat zugesehen 2002, 12'
- N.Y. Ground Zero 2002, 2'
- Raubengel 2007, 1'
- Der Untergang der Titanic 2003, 15'
- Solange die Notenblätter reichen 2007, 2'
- Die Rache der betrogenen Braut 1994, 13'
- Die neun Unzertrennlichen 1994, 3'
- Amok. Das Ende der Einfühlung 2002, 45'
- Book edited by Christian Schulte and Reinald Gußmann "Alexander Kluge: Der Eiffelturm, King Kong und die weiße Frau" (Verlag Vorwerk 8, Berlin 2002) as ROM feature
DVD edited by: Filmmuseum München and Goethe-Institut, funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation
DVD authoring: Ralph Schermbach
DVD supervision: Stefan Droessler
First edition August 2008, Second edition November 2008