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Directed by Sandra Trostel

Germany 2015 81 mins.

When John Cage (1912-1992), one of the most influential composers of New York’s 20th century avant-garde, was asked to summarize himself in one sentence, he said humorously: “Get out of whatever cage you‘re in.” Cage systematically scrutinized the underlying principles of the arrangements in music and society, developing musical forms free of hierarchy, judgmental structures, and the individual taste of the composer. Everybody’s Cage imagines a conversation with Cage, connecting his musical work with his philosophical thoughts, and considers his principles in the context of the present day. Pianist and composer Francesco Tristano and a small team interpret Cage’s Variations IV—a score without notes–and perform it in the public environment of New York City, inviting an expedition to a place of tranquility in one of the world´s busiest cities. “If, as the Buddhists say, ‘the mind is a restless monkey,’ Everybody’s Cage is an invitation to drink some water and listen to the sounds of the jungle.”—Sandra Trostel.



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.