The alternative is, unfortunately, having to deal with us
‘The Dumpster Kid’ is an artistic creation: in every story, society forces her to learn something. But she – fully grown from the moment of her birth – learns more than is called for, unasked. This extra knowledge, which is not wanted by society, regularly puts her in danger. Dumpster Kid dies in each story, and across each genre. Her stories are set in a whole range of different time periods.
What is a Dumpster Kid? At the beginning is a joke about discarded afterbirth. Afterbirth is to be thrown away, not raised as a child. And thus begins Dumpster Kid’s unjust situation. Dumpster Kid grows up in a rubbish bin. Right from the outset she wears red tights, red shoes and a red dress with floral patterns. The actress who plays the Dumpster Kid, Kristine de Loup, wears these clothes along with a black Chinese pageboy wig in every story. This means that Dumpster Kid is recognisable straight away: no matter what she does, she will never be like the rest of us.
Initially, it looks as if Dumpster Kid were quite happy in the rubbish container. After all, this is all she knows. Then someone discovers her and tells her that that is not the way it is supposed to be.
Everyone is supposed to have a mother and father, a warm bed in a bright bedroom, and to be surrounded by love. This is all new to Dumpster Kid, and out of good will she agrees to leave her rubbish container.
Not everything was perfect in the rubbish container, and we should not leave her in there. But the alternative, unfortunately, is having to deal with us, with the rest of the world, and that is too complicated for Dumpster Kid. Suddenly she has to stop acting according to her wishes. She has to go through all the processes of learning and growing up. The result is that she kills, hurts and steals, is then killed herself, only to return in the next story to take vengeance. (Edgar Reitz Stiftung)
Dumpster Kid Menu
1) Old Men
If Dumpster Kid wants to, she can make some men end up standing around in their underwear. 1’06’’
2) Dumpster Kid's Childhood
You should definitely see this story! An afterbirth leads an independent life – but then child welfare comes along. 6’13’’
3) Dumpster Syndrome
Something about the ability of our society to understand everything, forgive everything and pay for everything. 10’15’’
4) Cleanliness is a House’s Decoration
Dumpster Kid in the shower, in the rain and under the eaves. 4’30’’
5) Cats Have Fleas
Dumpster Kid pretends to sleep, because she wants to find out what might happen. But her stepmother interferes. 8’34’’
6) Dumpster Kid Becomes Smooth and Round
A spiritual man who knows what is good for people attempts to raise Dumpster Kid. 4’52’’
7) A Tiny Bit of Happiness
Dumpster Kid fools around with the fruits of the field. 2’03’’
8) Dumpster Kid Gets to Know a Lord and is Hanged
That’s true, but the revenge is particularly sweet. 17’10’’
9) Dumpster Kid Tells a Fairy Tale to a Queen
A story to listen to and watch. 6’08’’
10) Dumpster Kid Learns a Dubious Game
Dumpster Kid learns first-hand how a pleasurable connection develops between stroking and hitting. 3’31’’
11) Dumpster Kid Learns How to Say No
Dumpster Kid is getting married, but at the crucial moment she suddenly gets nervous. All hell breaks loose. 16’40’’
12) A Marmot Learns How to Dance
Dumpster Kid is supposed to learn what to do at the country fair. She sings songs, swears at people and steals the cash box. 18’51’’
13) All Power to the Vampire
It is hard to believe how many vampires there might be. Dumpster Kid calls upon them all for a major demonstration. 2’19’’
14) Freedom Through Al Capone
Dumpster Kid is constantly talking about revolution, but Al Capone, the pig, is talking about something quite different. 18’36’’
15) A Shoplifter
After a nice shopping spree, Dumpster Kid ends up sitting on the lap of the shop assistant and goes along with it only a little bit. 3’38’’
16) Particularly Kind Parents
Dumpster Kid has to learn that sexual intercourse can also be quite nasty when it takes place in the toilet. 9’
17) The Value of Money is Low on Earth
Dumpster Kid goes on the game and is murdered. 15’13’’
18) To the audience: Please leave any stories and moneymaking tips at the box-office.
19) Burn the Witch
Is Dumpster Kid destined to be burnt at the stake? Will she be saved from above? 4’15’’
20) To the audience: Please leave any stories and moneymaking tips at the box-office.
21) Dumpster Kid Likes to Have a Good Friend for Dinner
The way to a person's heart is through his stomach. But sometimes you ruin him that way. 9’35’’
22) Dumpster Kid Drowns Dumpster Kids
There is lovely music to this one, and it is all very poetic. 4’13’’
23) To the audience: Please inquire about stories and moneymaking tips at the box-office.
24) Dumpster Kid Rides for the King
The greatest film of all time. Intrigue, old walls, squeaking floors, the queen sleeps with the wrong man, Dumpster Kid marries d‘Artagnan and rides off on a white horse, more intrigue, and this time Dumpster Kid plays along. By the end of it, all the blame is put on her. 25’30’’
25) The Bank Account in the Woods
Dumpster Kid believes in our credit system. She therefore has to jump out of the fourth floor of a house and sing a sad song. 11’46’’
26) to 64) Please leave any stories and money-making tips at the box-office.
(Edgar Reitz Stiftung)
Why Dumpster Kid? A statement by Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz
Because in 1969 we had no desire to make another ninety-minute film that would get no distribution.
Because we came up with too many stories for a normal film.
Because whilst shooting we didn‘t want to restrict ourselves to films of two minutes or twenty minutes. Therefore we made many films between two and twenty minutes long.
Because when you stop thinking about German distribution companies, the world becomes beautiful once again.
Because we like true stories, as well as untrue ones.
Because Dumpster Kid is allowed to die at the end of one story without having to be dead in the next one.
Because we like playing with costumes. But we like playing without them too.
Because we wanted to film a story about being brought up.
Because we wanted to see all our friends in good roles.
Because we were so angry.
Because Dumpster Kid likes fucking.
Because we think it is crap that she has to apologise for that, and we think the FSK is a pile of crap too.
Because one day the tapes will be made, and we wanted to know whether that will ever happen with the distributor.
Because we got money from the federal ministry and under no circumstances did we want to give it back.
Because we are all Dumpster Kids
And last but not least, we opened a cinema in a pub in Munich and Dumpster Kid is shown there every day apart from Monday, entry costs DM 3.50, and Dumpster Kids are on the menu.
(Edgar Reitz Stiftung)
A lot of film in opposition to film
You can watch the stories à la carte and in portions at the Rationaltheater, a pub in Munich, with shows starting at 11 p.m., every day except Monday. German broadcasting company Westdeutsches Fernsehen shows them at the very end of its programme as a bedtime treat. Others intend to follow suit.
When their latest long movies had remained on the shelves, no company being prepared to take the honourable risk of distributing them, Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz left the patterns of conventional cinema and, for a start, produced twenty-two episodes of the KÜBELKIND ('Dumpster Kid') – movies that were finally allowed to be as short or long as they had to be: one minute and six seconds or twenty-five minutes and thirty seconds. The breakaway from conventional cinema, i.e., from bourgeois, old-fashioned cinema, was multifaceted and had far-reaching consequences, because it was not only a farewell to exterior restrictions like the usual ninety-minute format or to the dictates imposed on the production of movies by capitalistic considerations (which stipulate the content of movies). It was also – and this was a radical cut – a farewell to auteur films, which Stöckl and Reitz had paid ample tribute to, and a farewell to the cinematographic genre typical for bourgeois culture. And – last but not least – it was a breakaway from the conventional type of movie reception, which was considered unchangeable until the coming of underground films. As the finished product proves, all these were not decisions taken independently from each other. Here, one thing was connected with the other, just like one thing resulted in the other. The GESCHICHTEN VOM KÜBELKIND (Stories of the Dumpster Kid) are a cinematic revolution for our country. Even the FSK [self-regulatory body of the German film industry –Ed.] did not fail to notice that and testified that the GESCHICHTEN were 'full of immoral expressions', 'disparaged religious values' and 'presented sexuality in a disgusting manner'.
The last sequence referred to is exactly two minutes and three seconds long: With her skirt lifted, Kübelkind wanders through long grass, past flowers and through grain fields – an orgasm characterised by nature throughout. Those who consider this disgusting must be averse to nature, and those who invented it much too humbly call it 'A tiny bit of happiness'.
The word 'Kübelkind' describes the afterbirth and is a Viennese word of abuse: something to be thrown away, in our context also the afterbirth of our civilisation, the afterbirth of cinema. Stöckl and Reitz create a Kübelkind (played by Kristine de Loup) that is already fully-grown when it is born – physically at least, because there is a blatant lack of intellectual and psychological maturity. The latter needs to be taught to the foundling. In short, what we watch Kübelkind go through is a series of stories on adaptation.
But of course a Kübelkind is not willing to adapt to anything. If it is receptive to what is being taught to it at all, it is over-receptive and turns whatever it has learned against conventional habits. Kübelkinder remain nonconformist and are the incarnate antagonists of bourgeois thinking. This observation might – and should – become an established fact.
Afterbirth of cinema: Stöckl and Reitz's Kübelkind stories are set in all kinds of film genres.
Costume dramas, vampire films, history films, thrillers, musicals, science fiction and
'Heimatfilm' – Kübelkind moves through all these genres with their fixed regulations and long-established cinematographic structures – and breaks all their rules. Set against various historical and social backgrounds, the stories show us a vagabond girl who wanders through cinema culture and reveals its structures as fixations of certain behaviour patterns. Cinema culture – that is Kübelkind's message – is nothing but an instrument of support, a jockstrap for (...) society.
Weighty words on movie stories that may be interpreted altogether differently. Because the fun that the makers had in creating this monstrous cinematic anthology is conveyed to the audience directly. But does having fun doing something really mean seeing it 'altogether differently' than in its critical function? (Peter W. Jansen, “Die Zeit”, 23 July 1971)
No viewing for under eighteen-year-olds
Not a film for contemplative religious holidays. The film industry‘s self-regulating body (the FSK) only agreed to release a ninety-six-minute version of the film on the proviso that it would have an age rating of eighteen (suitable only for adults) and undergo half a dozen edits. ‘The story of the Dumpster Kid, an outsider of society,’ according to the reasoning for the decision ‘is confusing and incomplete for young people. The film is full of unsavoury turns of phrase. The disparagement, in the form of parody, of religious values is highly detrimental to young people. In addition, the portrayal of sexuality appears in a form that must confuse and disgust young people. (For example when Dumpster Kid masturbates in the barley field.) Moreover, the scenes in which Dumpster Kid is throttled and hanged, as well as the drowning of other Dumpster Kids, are done in such a way as to damage the development of young people. Therefore the working committee denies the granting of a certificate of viewing for under eighteen-year-olds. Result: released, pending edits, to audiences eighteen years old and above.’ After detailed information regarding the disgusting words and pictures that are to be deleted, the FSK comes to the pious decision that Ula Stöckl and Edgar Reitz‘s new film, even after having been edited and placed under a ban for young people, should not be shown on ‘the contemplative holidays’. (“Tagesanzeiger”, Zurich, 23 October 1970)