Birgit Hein


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Introduction by Mike Hoolboom The godmother of German experimental film is dead. Birgit Hein died at the age of 80, peacefully, while sleeping.

I met her at the European Media Arts Festival in Osnabrück at a precipitous moment. Every day hundreds poured across the East Berlin border amidst rumours the wall would be torn down soon. The Green Party sat on Berlin’s city council, vocal in its support of squat culture and its super-8 emporiums. The legendary trio Schmelz Dahin (melt away) had come to show their latest chemical outrage, though it would turn out to be their final work together. The Alte Kinder (Old Children) group was also dissolving. And through it all a larger-than-life figure ranged, touching and smiling, focusing the attention of everyone in the theatre, the centre of every scrum in the overcrowded bar next door where everyone fueled up between dizzying bouts of avant-gardism.

Birgit seemed to know everyone there. Quick to smile, to embrace her comrades and raise a glass, there was a charged aura about her that set her apart somehow. She had a man in her face, and a nose that looked like she had taken a few shots for the cause. She was the object of a thousand quick glances, as if the crowd needed to keep watch, because beside her formidable debating skills and reputation as an artist, there was something deeply fragile about her; it seemed as if she might crumble right before our eyes. I discovered only later that she had been part of a legendary couple that had helped kickstart underground film in Germany, and they had recently divorced, so this festival visit was part of a coming out display. She was on her own now, carrying the weight on her own capable shoulders.

This is a collection of love letters from friends and familiars. We needed to hear her voice again, so we rescued some Q&A’s, Randall, Duncan and Daniel kindly donated thoughtful interviews. Matthias and Michael sent materials and provided encouragement. Caspar started the ball rolling and helped with translations. Stefanie opened the vaults, Clint pitched in everywhere. cylixe found the old pictures. Nina and Çiğdem said yes. New writings abound and because the fringe remains an oral culture there are recordings of after-screening conversations. Everything was donated. Everyone worked for free. As if we lived in a world where thoughts and art and pictures could be free.

The hope was to gather a temporary community in these pages, to be able to hear from a few of the many she touched along the way. It is a wreath to lay beside her memory, which lives on in the words and teachings and movies that will continue to flow, and from which she might be felt as a stiff wind of clarity or an encouraging embrace. She is missed.

editor: Mike Hoolboom Design and Type Setting: Kilby Smith-McGregor

Table of contents Introductions 13 Introduction by Mike Hoolboom 14 Establishing Shot by Marc Siegel 16 Exprmntl 4 in Knokke-le-Zoute, 1967

Reflections 20 Underground Film: against commerce and the culture industry by XSCREEN Collective 25 Art communicates knowledge: an interview with Birgit Hein by Randall Halle 32 Xscreen 1968: Material Film Aesthetics and Radical Cinema Politics by Randall Halle 46 W + B’s Material Films by Marc Siegel 55 Network: Babeth Mondini-VanLoo on Jack Smith 57 On Structural Studies by Birgit Hein 60 Return to Reason by Birgit Hein 62 Dear Mike by Francesco Gagliardi 68 On Performance: Expanded Cinema Work in the 70s, Interview by Duncan White Histories and Consent: an interview with Jürgen Brüning 75 After the Underground: an interview by Marc Siegel 80 Love Stinks by Yann Beauvais 82 People We Trust: Brett Story and Jason Fox interview 87 The Prolixity of the Not-True by Steve Reinke 90 Reflections: A Conversation with Birgit and Wilhelm Hein, Gertrud Koch and Heide Schlüpmann about sex and their film work 100 Kali-Filme by W + B Hein 101 Kali-Filme by Jim Hoberman 107 Kali-Filme Q&A with Birgit Hein and Daniel Kothenschulte 114 Radical: Steve Anker interview 118 Works of Young Europeans: Erotic Films by Women by Birgit and Wilhelm Hein 120 Birgit Hein interview by Gamma Bak 123 Head Cold by Gamma Bak 129 You Only Live Twice by Mike Hoolboom 132 Fearless: Nanna Heidenreich, Heike Klippel, Florian Krautkrämer interview 138 Die unheimlichen Frauen by Jean Perret 141 Birgit shooting Die unheimliche Frauen by Ulrike Zimmermann 143 Die Unheimlichen Frauen Berlinale premiere Q&A with Birgit Hein 150 Baby: Introduction by Florian Wüst 153 Stray Dogs by Annette Brauerhoch 160 Baby: Questions: an interview with Yann Beauvais 164 Ecstasy is Important by Brigitta Burger-Utzer 165 Unprotected: Annette Brauerhoch interview 173 Mayflies by Ruth Spitzer 176 Brief notes on Birgit Hein’s Eintagsfliegen by Matthias Müller 178 La Moderna Poesia by Randall Halle 181 Disco al final: Reading Birgit Hein’s La moderna poesia as a post-revolutionary road movie by Jutta Brendemühl 185 Everyone understands a Hitchcock film: Birgit Hein interview by Daniel Kothenschulte 189 Shanghai Light Impressions by Mike Hoolboom 192 This Life, This work: an Interview with Filmmaker Birgit Hein by Randall Halle and Reinhild Steingröver 201 War Pictures by Birgit Hein 204 Pictures of War by Clint Enns 211 Abstraker Film Q&A with Birgit Hein and Daniel Kothenschulte 222 Flotsam by Dirk DeBruyn 226 On Birgit Hein’s Abstrakter Film by Laura Marks 227 The Revolution will not be televised (but uploaded) On found footage films about the Arab Spring by Florian Krautkrämer 231 Pocket Call: Alexandra Gelis and Jorge Lozano interview 233 Media and Revolution – A Conversation with Birgit Hein on Abstrakter Film by Florian Krautkrämer 239 Falling to Pixels by Matthias Müller 243 Transparent: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus interview 247 So far, so suspicious… Birgit Hein’s cinematic biography by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

School 253 Remembering Birgit Hein: an interview with Matthias Müller 259 Alte Kinder by Thomas Thiel 263 The Letter: an interview with Maija-Lene Rettig 267 Radical: an interview with Peter Zorn 272 You had to drop your pants: an interview with Christophe Girardet 279 Introduction to Dialogue by Birgit Hein 284 Opened by Bjørn Melhus 285 Orientations: an interview with Michael Brynntrup 291 Self Portrait with Skull: Remarks on the films of Michael Brynntrup by Birgit Hein 295 Kunstmama: an interview with Kristian Petersen 298 Dear Birgit by Claudia Schillinger 301 BIRGIT #1 Meeting – Relating by Alex Gerbaulet 304 Margit by Birgit Hein 308 Before the Funeral: Caspar Stracke 315 For Birgit by Judith Stern 318 Impatient and hotheaded nonetheless by cylixe

Flowers 324 Timeline by Ralf Sausmikat 326 Birgit by Malcolm Le Grice 328 Letter by Angela Haardt 330 Randall Halle memorial speech 333 Promises by Heather Frise 335 My Mother: an interview with Nina Hein 343 My grandmother: Çiğdem interview


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Queremos saber si eres humano



Mike Hoolboom (ed.)


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Fecha de publicación: 

Sábado, Septiembre 23, 2023