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Jack Hertz

Topic: How To Get Out Of The Cage - A Year With John Cage

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With German and French subtitles. This compelling documentary, seen through the lens of award-winning filmmaker Frank Scheffer, presents an intimate portrait of one of the 20th century's most important composers and creative minds at work.

From 1982 to 1992, Frank Scheffer worked with John Cage on numerous occasions, which resulted in a unique archive of historical audio-visual material. Based on this unique archive, including interviews, musical performances, and images of different locations related to Cage's life and work - filmed in 16mm - filmmaker Frank Scheffer created "How to get out of the Cage - A Year with John Cage".

In all of Scheffer’s works related to John Cage he uses the old Chinese method of chance operations based on the I Ching – as often used by John Cage himself in his compositions. For this new documentary he decided for another approach: Instead of using chance operations he edited the film in the usual way that is based on choice. “I wanted the documentary to be informative and appealing to a bigger audience”, so Scheffer.

From 1982 to 1992 Frank Scheffer worked with John Cage on many different occasions, which resulted in a unique archive of audio-visual material. The material of this Cage-archive consists of interviews, musical performances and images of different locations related to his life and work – Filmed on 16mm and transferred to Digi-Beta.

In all of Scheffer's works related to John Cage he uses the old Chinese method of chance operations based on the I Ching – as often used by John Cage himself in his compositions. For this new documentary he decided for another approach: instead of using these chance operations he edited the film in the usual way that is based on choice.

"The famous artist Marina Abramovic introduced me to John Cage. She thought it would be worthwhile for me to get in tough with him and right she was! In June 1982, I did an hour-long interview with him without knowing how influential he was. He loved the fact that it was an interview without preconceptions. It dramatically changed my way of thinking. He had opened my mind!"
- Frank Scheffer

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