ALABAMA was the first film I shot in 35mm and 1:1,85 widescreen format. It was also the first time I worked with a real cinematographer (till then I had shot everything more or less on my own). So it was the first time with Robby Müller, who for the ten following years shot all my films. The film is named after a piece by John Coltrane with which the film opens.
Just like 3 AMERICAN LP’S the film is only 25 minutes long. More than the preceding films it tells a story, although you cannot really recount it. One could say “this is a story of a man who…”. Somehow it is a story, and then it also is not one, it wasn’t that important altogether. In any case, the protagonist is dead in the end. This much can be said about the story: it deals with death. In the end the camera dies, not the man. But the main thing is that the music is always present.
When I was asked by a film critic at a festival (in Mannheim I think) what the film was about, I said: “It is about the song All Along the Watchtower and about what happens and what changes when Bob Dylan sings the song or Jimi Hendrix.” Both versions are in the film. They thought it was a pretty arrogant answer. But I was serious about it. Bob Dylan’s version of All Along the Watchtower appears in the beginning and the one by Jimi Hendrix at the end. And in between there is a form of post-story. “