Paradoxes of Exchange Society

News from Ideological Antiquity:
Marx–Eisenstein–Capital
Part 3. Paradoxes of Exchange Society
a film by Alexander Kluge

The Verso Loft
20 Jay Street • Suite 1010
Brooklyn DUMBO / transit: A to High Street, F to York

3:00-6:45 pm (200 min)
with intermission
Discussion to follow

The third part, “Paradoxes of Exchange Society,” inquires into the social contract that is both presupposed and reproduced in all human exchange. As the title of Kluge’s film indicates, the exposition of Nachrichten aus der ideologischen Antike (News from Ideological Antiquity) seeks to constitute an antiquity appropriate to today’s challenges. Its strong argument for a return to Marx is best captured by Fredric Jameson: “Marx is neither actual nor outmoded: he is classical.”

“… important devices should be added: Russian Formalist defamiliarization and Brechtian distancing. Never very far from didactic methods, Kluge insists: “We must let Till Eulenspiegel [a trickster figure in German folklore] pass across Marx and Eisenstein both, in order to create confusion allowing knowledge and emotions to be combined together in new ways.” — Julia Vassilieva, Screening The Past

No one turned away for inability to pay

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Kluge’s News From Ideological Antiquity. Part 2: All Things Are Bewitched People

When Eisenstein had the idea to film Capital, he thought that the literary methods found in Joyce’s Ulysses would be helpful for his project. According to Fredric Jameson, what Eisenstein had in mind here is “something like a Marxist version of Freudian free association—the chain of hidden links that leads us from the surface of everyday life and experience to the very sources of production itself. Eisenstein’s idea was use the structure of Ulysses, a ‘day in the life’ narrative interrupted by stream-of-consciousness, together with his theories of montage to depict a narrative film version of Capital. ” (See New Left Review, No 58 for Jameson’s review)
“… important devices should be added: Russian Formalist defamiliarisation and Brechtian distancing. Never very far from didactic methods, Kluge insists: “We must let Till Eulenspiegel [a trickster figure in German folklore] pass across Marx and Eisenstein both, in order to create confusion allowing knowledge and emotions to be combined together in new ways.” — Julia Vassilieva, Screening The Past
Kluge’s film is divided into three parts: Part III. Paradoxes of Exchange Society will be scheduled at a future July date.

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