Thursday, October 22, 1998

Brecht and Cinema

Kluge's Yesterday's Girl + Straub Short

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Co-Presented with the Goethe Institut
The 2nd in our 5-part series of films influenced by Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956)

Kluge’s Abschied von Gestern & Straub’s The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp
Kluge’s first feature and a central work of New German Cinema, Yesterday Girl uses fragmented, elliptical storytelling intermingled with various documents (direct-cinema interviews, old photographs and songs, a children’s story from the 1920s) in this case history of an East German girl’s difficulty adapting to life in the West. Using jump cuts, interruptive titles, and hand-held tracking shots, Kluge’s narrative technique emphasizes social understanding over identification with Anita G. (played by Kluge’s sister) as she drifts through cities, trying to hold a job and having love affairs. Kluge uses non-actors whom he cast in their actual occupations, with a landlord playing a landlord, an Attorney General playing an Attorney General, etc. Preceded by Straub’s 1968 The Bridegroom, The Comedienne and the Pimp, starring Fassbinder and Schygulla!