Alexander Kluge s first participation in cinema was as assistant to Fritz Lang when the veteran was making his two Indian films, Der Tiger von Eschnapur (59) and Das Indische Grabmal (59), themselves throwbacks to German cinema of 1919-20. Until his enforced departure from Germany in 1933, Lang had reflected the tumult of disill usioned insecurity' through allegories of criminal organizations threatening to subvert the appointed authorities.
His pictures were piercing indictments ol political hysteria. Kluge's, by contrast, are fixed on the essential muddle of young reactions to the lurid history that Lang survived. Kluge’s first two features, Yesterday Girl and Artists at the Top of the Big Top, are among the most interestingly German films from the young German cinema, but they are pondering work in which wit, personality, and incident only just keep their heads above conscientious dismay. Yesterday Girl was Godardian, hut minus Godard’s formal inventiveness and cut off from his sense of cinematic tradition. The political past, and Germany’s inexplicable escape from it, hang over Kluge’s world, and he resorted to cinema onlv alter having begun as a novelist.
Since the late eighties Kluge has given his time to producing cultural programs for small cable TV channels in Germany.