Alexander Kluge

Dead End

“That which I fear and love, should be as distant as heaven above.”

the studios had to rent outside editing suites. Huge extra costs for removing from the almost completed autumn movies anything that might bring to mind the shocking events in New York. How could a film be a success if key points of the script become taboo?

But the planning for future movies is already well under way. In practically every target group, hearts are 82% full of the event. But it’s impossible to get directly at these emotions, says Michael H., an experienced executive producer. The emotions refuse to accept representation in the cinema. There’s treasure there, waiting to be discovered, he says finally, and we’re not the ones to discover it. When everything changes, then the dramaturgy of cinema successes changes, too.

—Well, we now know that horror movies are out of the question in the near future.

—Everyone says that, but no one’s tested it. It’s enough for everyone to be saying it, to make it impossible for us to think of that kind of production. And we probably couldn’t beat the real “horror pictures” (such fascinating pictures in themselves) anyway.

—You mean, we should be able to outbid them?

—That’s the principle of the movies.

H. was also in the distribution business, but with a post at one of the East Coast Ivy League universities he was not dependent on his movie industry job. His partner, with whom he had navigated the past twenty years, took care of studio production and relations with the banks. There was no situation to which the two INDEPENDENTS would not have felt themselves equal.

—You mean, tell the BIG STORY of the World Trade Center like in Titanic?

—1912 is 2001!

—The closeness to 1914 is troubling.

—For the US audience that would be 1917. Which would not be so very close to 1912. Also we’re not talking about contemporary history, but the plot of a big-budget film.

—The gist of it was the love story of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. Where do you want to fit that in?

—The time until the towers collapse, is shorter than that between hitting the iceberg and the ship going down, is that what

you mean?

—I can’t really imagine in such a short time a movement between floors that still allows for a love story.

—Not even if the story leading up to that point is told? There’s enough time for that. Behind seventy million windows of New York City seven million love stories. Sex in the City, but done seriously.

—The fireman and the princess in the tower? They got to know each other at evening classes. From fireman to millionaire. The millionairess, who wants to work.

—He wants to put out fires.

—This is not a building whose fire can be put out. No more than she could rappel down the tower anchored by her hair.

—There were supposed to have been cavities, formed by tilted steel girders, shelters for a while, just as a liner at the bottom of the sea can still contain oxygen bubbles in which people survive. So the couple here can meet as in a catacomb?

—You don’t really believe that any author will write something like that for you. The terrible thing would be that there probably were such shelters, but that we will probably find out about them, as we found out about the pair of lovers In Herculaneum and Pompeii.

—That was a successful novel.

—Based on a catastrophe, which was not made by human beings and happened a long time ago.

—But on one of the floors? One where there are shops? Where you go to the subway? The two lose each other. Buried. Subterranean escape routes. They look for one another in all the hospitals. Run up against the police barricades and in the end they find one another.

—And how do we show the catastrophe?

—Always indirectly.