Kranky Klaus

  • 26'
  • France
  • 2003
Kranky Klaus forms part of a series of documentaries in which Cameron Jamie records European and American folk rituals. To his amazement, the director found out that while the Western established order of art may make room for an extensive examination of the folklore and ritual heritage of former colonies, the own history is being neglected. Kranky Klaus is in its form an 'objective' registration, although it often comes about in the middle of the action, of the so-called Krampus ritual in Austria. Men in hairy suits with large teeth and imposing antlers go from door to door around Christmas to chase and attack people as Krampus demons. They are in the company of a Saint-Nicolas-like figure who then calms the people down. The ritual dates back to heathen pre-Christian customs that preceded today's less aggressive but totally commercialised Christmas activities. Krampus forms a kind of strange combination of Christmas and Halloween. To his observations of this striking annual phenomenon, Jamie adds a soundtrack by The Melvins, the controversial rock band from the Seattle area. Their long and loud chords put the typically Austrian event in a very electronic frame that has nothing to do with Christmas, but refers to an American street culture that also has its own rules.

Cameron Jamie
Countries of production
France, United Kingdom, Austria
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2008
Betacam Digi PAL
Cameron Jamie
Production Company