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American Women's Club of Hamburg

CUNNINGHAM - film review

Germany, France, USA 2019
Directed by: Alla Kogan
Writing credits: Alla Kogan
Principal actors: archival footage of Cunningham, his company, collaborators, with Ms Kogan’s new filming of landmark dances, “not recording work but transforming Merce's ideas for theater,” following his ideas on extending the movement.

This visually stunning 3D documentary, full of his writings, quotes, reveals a source of his powerful presence, “No matter how small the movement, you should do it as if it were the biggest possible movement in the world.” And energy explodes from Merce Cunningham’s every move, zooms
in so many directions, from teaching himself to knit surprising costumes, to breakfast Russian practice for chance communication with visiting dancers.

Follow his start in early wartime 1940s, through the first thirty years struggle to keep a company, and after. His creativity attracted upcoming, likeminded visual artists, Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol, and life partner John Cage. “We are a group of human beings, we do something, present something. Interpretation is left to the audience.” (NT)

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