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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
    Content Notes:
    The structure of this documentary is based on different chapters:

    2:10 § One – Nachtcagetag
    24 Hours of the Music of John Cage
    Cologne, Germany
    February 14–15, 1987
    11:03 § Two – Roaratorio
    An Irish circus based on Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
    Royal Albert Hall, London, England
    July 18, 1987
    20:32 § Three – Los Angeles Festival
    Los Angeles, CA, USA
    September 3–27, 1987
    36:41 § Four – New York, NY, USA
    October 3–7, 1987
    47:04 § Five – Europera’s I & II
    Frankfurt, Germany
    November 12 & December 11, 1987
    Type: Documentary
    Year: 2012
    Total Time: 56:00
    Styles: Classical, Experimental, Minimal, Noise
    Formats: Blu Ray, DVD
    Purchase URL:
    Liscense: Copyright
    Cast:
    John Cage
    Director: Frank Scheffer
    Producer: Silk Road Film Salon
    Soundtrack: John Cage
    Studio: Euro Arts
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