A complex, associative work that embraces contradictions and offers a visual take on the Nobel laureate’s technique of linguistic montage.
Wunderkind, scandalous author, traitor to the fatherland, fury of the theater, feminist, fashion-lover, communist, pessimist, language terrorist, rebel, enfant terrible, nest fouler, brilliant, vulnerable artist, Nobel laureate. This film about Elfriede Jelinek, who in 2004 became the first Austrian author to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature, focuses on her artistic approach to language. The montage of archive material with voiceovers and interviews, some of them recently recorded, is told from Jelinek’s point of view.
Meet the director
Born in 1964, Claudia Müller is a German documentary filmmaker who lives in Berlin. She is known for her cinematic portraits of international artists. After studying German, journalism, and art at universities in Berlin and Cologne, she became a freelance journalist and director and has made numerous documentary films. Müller is particularly interested in the visual arts. Her films present the work of such artists as Jenny Holzer (2009), Shirin Neshat (2010), Kiki Smith (2014), VALIE EXPORT (2015), and Katharina Grosse (2020) as well as writer and theater director Hans Neuenfels (2011) and designer and artist Helmut Lang (2016). Müller’s ongoing documentary series “Künstlerinnen” has featured more than 80 women artists from diverse geographical and cultural contexts. Her work contributes to the ongoing debate on identity, gender, sexuality, feminism, the female aesthetic, and the visibility of women in art.