The work of Kurt Kren (1929–1998), a key figure of European avant-garde cinema, was widely influential for following generations of filmmakers. Kren’s outspoken political stance against his native Austria as well as his fast-paced style of editing spoke to Schlingensief.
3/60 Bäume im Herbst (Trees in Autumn)
1960. Austria. Directed by Kurt Kren.
This fast-paced montage of positive and negative frames of crowns of trees is an early example of Kren’s signature filmmaking technique. In German; English subtitles. 5 min.
6/64 Mama und Papa (Materialaktion Otto Mühl) (Mom and Dad [Material Action Otto Mühl])
1964. Austria. Directed by Kurt Kren.
With Otto Mühl. Kren was closely associated with the Vienna Actionists and filmed several actions by Günter Brus and Otto Mühl. Constructed of a montage of short shots, Mühl’s action Mom and Dad is rendered in a flicker of images that escapes straightforward perception and operates like a subliminal stimulus. 4 min.
31/75 Asyl (Asylum)
1975. Austria. Directed by Kurt Kren.
One of Kren’s most conceptually and visually striking films. A Structuralist study of landscape and time. In German; English subtitles. 8 min.
Die 120 Tage von Bottrop (The 120 Days of Bottrop)
1997. Germany. Directed by Christoph Schlingensief.
Cinematography by Schlingensief, Kurt Kren. With Margit Carstensen, Irm Hermann, Volker Spengler, Udo Kier, Helmut Berger, Martin Wuttke, Bernhard Schütz. A troupe of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s former regular actors gets together in Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz to produce “The Last New German Movie,” a remake of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s infamous Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom. Mud-fighting between hysterical actors and a resurrected Leni Riefenstahl occur in this film that has little to do with Pasolini’s masterpiece, and nothing to do with the western German blue-collar city of Bottrop. In German; English subtitles. 60 min.