Occasional Work Of A Female Slave

Alexander Kluge’s 1973 West German feature, featuring Kluge’s sister Alexandra in the lead part, concerns a 29-year-old housewife who operates an illegal abortion clinic to support her family. Kluge’s third feature, one of his most Brechtian (and Godardian), reveals the writer-director as easily one of the best minds in the contemporary cinema, but not necessarily one of the best eyes: one often has the sense of a high-powered intelligence translating ideas into film rather an intelligence that thinks and creates in filmic terms. Political paradox is the central concern here, and while Kluge’s grasp of his heroine’s plight is witty and complex, his black-and-white images often have a second-degree quality about them. (JR)

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