Aufklärung für Kinder

Der Journalist Harald Wieser lässt Geschichten, die der 1892 geborene Philosoph Walter Benjamin einst fürs Radio schrieb, wieder aufleben. Die Lesung der Radiotexte über Kaspar Hauser, den Untergang von Pompeji, die Eigenarten von Hunden u.a. wurde im Dezember 2002 mit großem Erfolg von Radio Bremen gesendet.


Aufklärung für Kinder

Who killed Walter Benjamin

In September 1940, after seven years of exile, Walter Benjamin crosses the Pyrenees in a desperate attempt to escape the Nazis.

According to the official version, Walter Benjamin did make it across the French-Spanish border successfully. But when he arrived in the Catalan town of Portbou, a sudden change in legislation impeded his entry into Spain and he was obliged to spend the night at a local hotel under the close vigilance of three guards, whose orders were to deport him the following morning.

In utter despair, Benjamin took his own life, swallowing an overdose of morphine. The local doctor, however, declared it a natural death and Benjamin was given a Catholic burial in the municipal cemetery, under a wrong name.
Did the doctor conceal some hidden cause of Benjamin´s death? Was there really a change of legislation? Was Walter Benjamin aware that Portbou was a pro-Franco town virtually occupied by the Nazis?

Who killed Walter Benjamin… reaches for answers among the suspicious circumstances of his death. Giving at the same time, a portrait of a frontier town anchored between two fronts, constant witness of evasion, persecution and false hopes.

Who killed Walter Benjamin… not just a reconstruction of a death but the living portrait of the scene of the crime.

Spanish w/ English subs
Thanks marx!

Who killed Walter Benjamin

Den Pessimismus organisieren – Heiner Müller liest Walter Benjamin

Die erste Auflage erschien 1991 als Hörkassette, später erschien auch eine Auflage auf CD. Die Textauswahl besorgte Jan Linders mit und für Heiner Müller. Dies ist der Mitschnitt von Müllers Lesung am 4.11.1991 in den Hamburger Kammerspielen.

Den Pessimismus organisieren

Miriam Hansen: Cinema and Experience

Siegfried Kracauer, Walter Benjamin, and Theodor W. Adorno—affiliated through friendship, professional ties, and argument—developed an astute philosophical critique of modernity in which technological media played a key role. This book explores in depth their reflections on cinema and photography from the Weimar period up to the 1960s. Miriam Bratu Hansen brings to life an impressive archive of known and, in the case of Kracauer, less known materials and reveals surprising perspectives on canonic texts, including Benjamin’s artwork essay. Her lucid analysis extrapolates from these writings the contours of a theory of cinema and experience that speaks to questions being posed anew as moving image culture evolves in response to digital technology.

Thanks to Fascinator!

Cinema and Experience

Flâneur III: Benjamin’s Shadow

In the 1998 film above, Flâneur III: Benjamin’s Shadow, Danish director Torben Skjodt Jensen and writer Urf Peter Hallberg collaborate on an impressionistic black-and-white meditation on Paris, overlaid with Hallberg’s ruminations and quotations from Benjamin. Benjamin’s fascination with nineteenth-century Paris drove his massive, unfinished Arcades Project, an excavation of the inner workings of modernity. Where One Way Street is marked by a very dated 90’s aesthetic (which may look chic now that the decade’s back in fashion), the above film is both classical and modernist, a testament to the beauties and contradictions of Paris. I think in this respect, it is a more fitting tribute to the critical and contradictory aesthetic theory of Walter Benjamin.

Video Flâneur III