Oct 1, 2013
Without question, there is no great metaphor for German New Cinema ‘father figure’ Alexander Kluge’s filmmaking career as a cultural cuckold, shabbos goy, and pedantic ethno-masochistic lunatic other than the fact he decided to cast own Aryan sister, Alexandra Kluge, in the role of a down-and-out Jewish daughter of holocaust survivors for his first feature-length film Yesterday Girl (1966) aka Abschied von gestern - (Anita G.), a patently plodding 'modernist' celluloid work that is just as much inspired by French New Wave auteur filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard as it is by the static Theatric Marxism of Brecht and cultural Marxism of the Hebraic kraut-hammering Frankfurt School. Directed by a fiercely philo-Semitic far-left lawyer turned filmmaker who once proudly and pretentiously proclaimed, “I don’t know what an artist is. I’d say, my roots are in Hebrew theology; in the Critical Theory of Horkheimer, Adorno, Oskar Negt; in Walter Benjamin,” Yesterday Girl is a cinematic work that is so superlatively soulless in terms of its pedantic politics and shockingly static aesthetics that it acts as a potent reminder of how German cinema has degenerated since the days of F.W. Murnau, Leni Riefenstahl, and even Veit Harlan. Clearly taking his buddy Adorno’s infamously idiotic words of Hebrew hostility, “Writing poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric,” to heart, Yesterday Girl is about a poetic as a cattle prod to the prick and as aesthetically audacious as the syphilis-ridden brain of a purged Bolshevik revolutionary’s corpse. Essentially the German New Cinema equivalent of Godard’s obscenely overrated first feature Breathless (1960) aka À bout de soufflé—the supposed French New Wave classic where the director proved that even Marxist morons can love capitalist Hollywood and stupid Americans as demonstrated by the film’s counterfeit frog Humphrey Bogart-wannabe—Yesterday Girl is the sort of innately insipid and ultimately pointless pseudo-iconoclastic work that gives arthouse cinema a bad name due to its putrid and pansy political posturing and patently prosaic aesthetics, and overall brazenly banal story. The hopelessly mundane and meandering celluloid non-story of a young and rather annoying East German Jewess with large Anna Karina-like eyes, Yesterday Girl is not only an inane indictment of West German capitalism and democracy, but an assault on ‘bourgeois’ Teutonic society in general that, more than anything else, accuses the German system and populous of harboring ‘everyday fascism'.
As explained by a judge during a court case regarding her supposed theft of a cardigan sweater and some other items from a coworker's locker, “Anita G., born April 2, 1937, unemployed, no fixed abode, single, with no prior convictions, appears before the Braunschweig Court as she is duly suspected of having had the intention to take and carry away movable property.” During the trial, Anita also uses the race card, though she denies it is her intent, by bringing up the fact her kosher parents' factory was taken away from them by the naughty Nazis and the trauma of said events inevitably led her to leave East Germany to seek her (un)fortune in West Germany, but the rather physically grotesque kraut swine judge has no sympathy for the children of holocaust survivors, so her Jewishness does not save her as one might expect it to in the real world. Ditzy and compulsively ‘cute,’ Anita is certainly not someone you would peg as a kleptomaniac Jewess, but then again the celluloid realm of attorney at law turned auteur Alexander Kluge has always been more of a place of sterile ideas and theories and intentionally lackluster direction as opposed to aesthetically pleasing magic and true (as opposed to imaginary Marxist) social realism. The story of Yesterday Girl is fairly simple and especially anticlimactic as it basically depicts the failure of a commie-trained kosher chick to integrate herself into society and find a decent boyfriend/job, so she goes from job to job and boyfriend to boyfriend, until she eventually gets arrested for theft (of course, probably in Kluge’s mind “property is theft” or something like that), thus demonstrating the supposedly brutal authoritarianism of capitalist krautland. At her first apartment in West Germany, Anita is kicked out for failing to pay the rent on time, thus beginning a series of temporary stays at various motels and apartments as she is a born screw up, though, of course, director Alexander Kluge clearly expects the viewer to believe capitalism, latent fascism, and anti-Semitism are to blame for the little lass’ failures. Undoubtedly, Kluge also reveals that Anita is Jewish, despite her appearance to the contrary, to demonstrate that were she not both a direct and indirect victim of the holocaust, she probably would not be a petty criminal or something along those lines and that her criminality is even justified considering her special Semitic situation. Of course, all the crypto-anti-Semites in the film give her no breaks. Dealing with everything from a brief stint with pussy-peddling to a bastard boyfriend that gives her the gift of bruises, Anita is certainly used and is abused, but because of Kluge’s pedantic and sterile direction and the director’s sister’s lack of acting talent, it is all but impossible to empathize with the tragic girl and her terribly trying situation. Concluding with the inter-title, “We are all to blame for everything, but if everyone knew it, we would have paradise on earth,” one wonders if Alexander Kluge is one of the most, if not the most, whiniest and self-righteous filmmaker who has ever lived. Naturally, I blame Kluge for making an empty film for empty people.
Judging by Yesterday Girl and Part-Time Work of a Domestic Slave (1973) aka Gelegenheitsarbeit einer Sklavin, which also stars the director’s sister Alexandra Kluge, one must question auteur Alexander Kluge’s dubious quasi-incestuous direction of his sis, but if one thing is for sure—sister lover or not—he is a filmmaker with a special knack for making the most clinically assembled celluloid works ever, as if he were a cultural mortician and Aryan Uncle Tom hired by his Hebraic homeboys at the Frankfurt School to deconstruct and ultimately destroy Germany’s deep and singular legacy of romanticism and historical myths. Incidentally, Kluge, who once served as a shabbos goy legal counsel for the Frankfurt School, was encouraged by Theodor W. Adorno—the Guido-Hebrew cultural Marxist messiah who spent a good percentage of his time criticizing German/European kultur with his ‘Critical theory’ and trashing the German people for the holocaust (hence his dickheaded 1949 dictum “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric”)—to become a filmmaker in the first place, thus knowing that the lawyer-turned-auteur would never become the next Veit Harlan, but a sort of intellectually masturbating, anti-aestheticist who would degrade Teutonic culture and cinema for the greater good of the chosen amongst god's chosen. One of 26 signers of the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962, Kluge undeniably helped launch German New Cinema, but as the naked melodramas of Rainer Werner Fassbinder, darkly romantic adventurist works of Werner Herzog, and the anti-leftist Wagnerian works of Hans-Jürgen Syberberg demonstrate, the kraut new wave thrived in spite of Kluge and not because of him. Despite Kluge’s cultural Marxist filmmaking career and supposed support of fellow directors of German New Cinema, Czech animator/auteur Vlado Kristl, who won the main prize at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival for his work Don Kihot (1961), once revealed the Yesterday Girl director was not a Marxist who practiced what he preached, stating, “Even though they claimed to be socialists, Kluge and a few others were almost careless in the way they showed their true face.” Indeed, as a proud anti-Marxist/anti-leftist myself, I have no problem admitting some of my favorite filmmakers, including Pier Paolo Pasolini, were card-carrying commies, yet Kluge’s films are as materialistic, mundane, soulless, and—most importantly—culturally corrosive as his political beliefs. With a pointless dream-sequence involving SA Nazi stormtroopers and American GIs chasing Anita and then Anita subsequently stomping on a good Christian woman’s hand (with gorehound-esque blood spattering and all!) being the most enthralling aspect of Yesterday Girl, it is probably safe to say that Alexander Kluge is one of the most aesthetically inartistic, unappealing and autistic filmmakers to have ever lived, hence why very few people watch his films today, yet names like Herzog, Fassbinder, and Wenders will be remembered forever.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 9:29 PM
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