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How to Get Out of the Cage: A Year With John Cage (2012)

 NR |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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How to Get Out of the Cage: A Year With John Cage + John Cage: Journeys in Sound + Cage Cunningham - A Film by Elliot Caplan / John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns
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Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: German
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Euroarts
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 144 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,096 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

EuroArts DVD presents a new documentary by Frank Scheffer based on his archives on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the birth of John Cage's birth, on September 5, 2012. From 1982 to 1992 Frank Scheffer worked with John Cage on many different occasions, which resulted in a unique archive of historical audio-visual material. Based on this unique archive, which includes interviews, musical performances and images of different locations related to his life and work, the filmmaker Scheffer created "How To Get Out Of The Cage - A Year With John Cage". The famous artist Marina Abramovic introduced me to John Cage. She thought it would be worthwhile for me to get in touch with him and right she was! In June 1982 I did an hour-long interview with him without knowing how influential he was. He loved the fact that it was an interview without preconceptions. It dramatically changed my way of thinking. He had opened my mind! - Frank Scheffer

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
John Cage very early on in this documentary states that he has 'no feeling for harmony' but is interested in sounds (without harmony). This, in the light of musical history is a pretty strong challenge to the musical establishment. As time went by he extended this to an exploration and belief in the pursuit of 'chance' where the sounds he 'created' were presented in an increasingly random way where each piece becomes a new piece at the point of performance and where the performer is actively involved in the process of the 'composition'. He relates this concept of chance to that of some Chinese philosophy.

In one ballet extract he explains that the 'music' has nothing to do with the dancers' movements, both being conceived randomly. In addition, the only reason that both can be experienced in the same performing space is 'for the convenience' of the viewer/listener. In other words the two elements of the dance and the sounds could be performed independently in completely different venues and this would still be the 'composition'.

In answer to the question 'What is the point?' he likes to quote one philosopher as saying that to question the point is to miss the point (and to be rude at the same time). To me this seems like an evasion technique which is not as clever as it seems. Many of his statements based on philosophical ideas seem contradictory or at least somewhat doubtful. For instance, his best friends he says are those whom he doesn't understand. For me, believing as i do that friendship must involve a level of communication, this seems simply contradictory. One wonders what his friends' reactions might be to this statement.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Master July 26, 2013
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In the 60's when I first discovered John Cage, his concept of the perception of sound-----or, no sound [both as composition] changed my life forever
Here is a wonderful journey into the mind of John cage
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