Class relations: film screening

07.10.2009 - 19:00 to 22:00
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Klassenverhältnisse - West Germany 1984 - Directed and written by: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, based on the unfinished novel "Der Verschollene" by Franz Kafka - Photography by: William Lubtchansky - Cast: Christian Heinisch, Nazzareno Bianconi, Mario Adorf, Laura Betti, Harun Farocki, Manfred Blank, Reinald Schnell - Produced by: Janus Film und Fernsehen, Frankfurt/Main - Première: February 21, 1984 (Internationales Filmfestspiele Berlin)

Additionally we will see the documentary by Harun Farocki: "Work on class relations. By Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub". Arbeiten zu "Klassenverhältnisse" von Danièle Huillet und Jean-Marie Straub - West Germany 1983 - Directed by: Harun Farocki - Photography by: Ingo Kratisch - Produced by: Harun Farocki Filmproduktion, Berlin - Première: 1984, Filmmuseum München

The film is based on Kafka's unfinished novel "Der Verschollene". It doesn't deal with the real United States but it is rather a kind of allegory taking place at no specific time in history. Straub and Huillet's version is about class relations and about the society that is created by capitalism, which is utterly cruel, capricious and ludicrous. Edition Filmmuseum

Financed in Germany and filmed in New York, Class Relations is adapted from Franz Kafka's unfinished novel Amerika. Christian Heinisch plays a bourgeois German forced to leave his homeland after a scandal. He accepts his uncle's invitation to move to America, where he takes a succession of "Joe Jobs." Heinisch tries, but he is unable to shake off his old-world customs. Worse, the class structure in Europe never prepared him to have to actually use his hands to make a living. Rather than tack on an ending of their own, writer/directors Daniel Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub conclude Class Relations in the same manner that Kafka left Amerika behind when he died--with the hero's ultimate fate still in limbo. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Klassenverhältnisse, known in English as Class Relations, is a 1984 film by the French filmmaking duo of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. It is based on Franz Kafka's unfinished first novel, Amerika. The German filmmaker Harun Farocki appears as one of the leads, and the film also features a cameo from American experimental filmmaker Thom Andersen. Wikipedia

As Franz Kafka never visited the United States, the film was intentionally shot in Europe, with the bulk of shooting occurring in Germany. During the opening scene, the replica of the Statue of Liberty located on the Seine is used as a stand-in for the real Statue of Liberty, and the film features prominently architecture, flora and costuming (including a policeman in a bobby helmet) that is unlikely to be found in the United States. Though Huillet and Straub are both French, the film was shot in German, the language the original book was written in. Wikipedia

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