Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed (Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: Ratlos)
Directed by Alexander Kluge
Running time: 104 minutes
German with English subtitles.
Sunday 5 February 2012
Auditorium, White Cube Bermondsey
''Film has to recover the degree of abstraction inherent in language. Film should include all capacities of language. But language and images should not strive for precision. They will be uncertain and open. I am anti-Wittgenstein. I do not believe in logic, I believe in the power of associations.''
In 'Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed' Hannelore Hoger stars as Leni Peickert in Alexander Kluge's compelling parable about art versus entertainment and culture versus commerce. Leni inherits the family circus after her father is killed performing a difficult act. Feeling that traditional circuses are on their way out, she updates the show with 'socially-relevant' entertainment. Unfortunately, it fails to attract customers, and the circus goes bankrupt - twice. The story of Leni and her woes is straightforward but the strength of Kluge's film is in its complex imagery, masterful montages, filmic references, and layers of meaning. Kluge uses the circus as a metaphor for cinema at large: hinting at the change about to happen in popular German cinema.
Winner of the Golden Lion at the 1968 Venice Film Festival.
Reservation is not necessary, but places are limited. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment.