Das Kapital (The Movie)

Didn’t want to read the book? Waited for the movie? Wait no more:

Alexander Kluge’s nine-and-a-half hour long film of Marx’s “Kapital” is not a minute too long says Helmut Merker

What is a revolutionary? The writings of Marx and Engels both use the metaphor of revolution as the “locomotive of history”. Is, then, the revolutionary a standard bearer of progress, a pace setter, a frontrunner?

None of the above, because in a world ruled by a turbo “devaluation” where only the new has market value, where commodity production spirals out of control, the “train of time” is a deadly trend. Alexander Kluge instead opts for Walter Benjamin’s idea of the revolution as mankind “pulling the emergency brake“. We must hold up the torch of reason to the problems at hand, and the true revolutionary is therefore the one who can unite future and past, merging two times, two societies, the artist who montages stories and history. And so we come to Alexander Kluge and his art.

Kluge’s monumental “News from Ideological Antiquity. Marx – Eisenstein – Das Kapital” is a 570-minute film available only on DVD which is based on the work of two other montage artists, James Joyce and Sergei Eisenstein. These two met in 1929 to discuss filming Marx’s “Kapital” which had been written 60 years beforehand. Now, eighty years on, Alexander Kluge joins the party and takes up where Eisenstein failed, because neither Hollywood’s capitalists nor Moscow’s Communists were prepared to send the necessary funds his way.

Read the rest.

5 thoughts on “Das Kapital (The Movie)

  1. Pingback: Velvet Howler › Blog Archive › Das Kapital: The Movie

  2. Didn’t this guy write a response to Habermas’s Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere? With Oskar Negt? I tried looking through it, but it was so full of Party-speak as to be completely unreadable. It made the later Habermas look like Montaigne.

  3. Yep, he did – Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung – I think I had the same experience as you while reading it. However, Habermas’ book on Öffentlichkeit I thought was (and is) pretty good, if he wasn’t so German about it, it could be a very fun read with all its coffee shops and first newspapers story and so forth.

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