About Wittgenstein Abecedarium

Wittgenstein Abecedarium is an experimental documentary about the Austrian philosopher, architect, schoolteacher, engineer, gardener and inventor Ludwig Wittgenstein. It grew out of a long-term project that I started five years ago, that involved living as an itinerant filmmaker, changing residence every month or so. In each location, I would look for a subject to make a film about - a street, a river, a person, an idea - anything the place might suggest to me. I don’t write conventional narrative scripts or outlines - my films evolve in response to my changing experience of the place, talking to people, and through reading and research. For each film, I try to adapt or invent a form to fit the subject.

 

I had studied Wittgenstein in college and on a whim, visited his grave while I happened to be passing through Cambridge 4 years ago. After spending time in the graveyard and meeting people who make pilgrimages to his gravesite, I decided make a film in Cambridge, based on my own personal view of his work, life and relationship to art and culture.

 

I spent three years photographing in the graveyard, collecting archival still and moving images, re-reading Wittgenstein,researching biographies, memoirs and dissertations, and interviewing the people who come to visit his grave every day. It ended up evolving into a feature length film, which premiered in Cambridge, England on June 30th, and will be shown again at Cambridge University in early March.

 

Jeffrey Hall  

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