John Cage - The Revenge of Dead Indians: In Memoriam John Cage
Director Henning Lohner worked with John Cage during his later years, including collaborating with Cage on his only film, One11. During that time, Lohner filmed interviews and footage with Cage, and after Cage’s death decided to assemble some of it into this unique “composed film” based on musical principles – a tribute to Cage, his thoughts, music and influence. It was completed in 1993.
The film also features 42 personalities – from the well known (actors, architects, artists, choreographers, composers, theoreticians, writers) to the unknown (like street cleaners and market vendors) – in conversation with each other. The result is an unexpected and fascinating combination of intellectual thought, viewpoints and opinions.
“The Revenge of the Dead Indians” is neither documentary nor feature film. The thematic story development is a combination of “found” video and audio landscapes along with theatrically directed readings and interviews. Each scene of the film is complete in itself as its own narrative entity, yet simultaneously contributes to the linear progression of the story line.
Lohner’s goal was to honor the creative credo of composer John Cage, to whom the film is dedicated. Attention is paid to “forgotten” landscapes: places we overlook because they are the everyday and the ordinary.
Concert performances incorporated in the film were recorded live during the “Musicircus” homage at Symphony Space in New York, November 1, 1992, and at the John Cage music festival at the “Akademie der Schönen Künste” in East Berlin, August 1, 1990.
This sound and visual material was edited to more than 1200 cuts before the final film length of 130 minutes was reached. The shortest scene has the duration of exactly one frame, the longest scene has the duration of exactly 4 minutes, 33 seconds.
– A complete video performance of Cage’s infamous silent piece 4’33”, created in Berlin by Cage and Lohner.
– Henning Lohner and Van Carlson in Conversation: created especially for this DVD. The director and cinematographer speak about their collaboration on this film, along with a commentary track (approx. 20 minutes).