Friday, 31 March 2017

Capital Celluloid 2017 - Day 107: Tue Apr 18

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet, 1968):
BFI Southbank, NFT2, 8.40pm

BFI introduction to this film in the Big Screen Classics season:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder acknowledged the influence of Jean-Marie Straub’s early work on his own developing style. This portrait of Bach exemplifies the rigorous, politicised aesthetic of Straub and his partner Daniele Huillet, who alternate performances of the composer’s music (filmed as simply as possible) with a narration compiled from contemporary sources to provide a sociopolitical context.
+ The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp
1928. Dir Jean-Marie Straub. 28min
This triptych stars Fassbinder and several of his regular collaborators.
The other screening of this film on Wednesday 26th April 18:00 will be introduced by Manuel Ramos-Martinez, Goldsmiths.

Time Out film review:
'A film about the past which is lucid can help people of the present to achieve that necessary lucidity.' Straub's account of Bach is nothing if not lucid: it documents the last 27 years of its subject's life (through the mediating eyes of his wife) principally in terms of his music. The music itself obviates any need for a 'drama' to present Bach; Straub celebrates its range and complexity while showing it always in performance, to emphasise the nature of Bach's work as musician/conductor. A narration (compiled from contemporary sources) sets the man in his economic and social context. With his minimalist's sensitivity to nuance and inflection, Straub eschews pointless cutting and camera movement. The beautiful result has the air of a crystal-clear meditation.
Tony Rayns

Here (and above) is an extract.

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