Opening Night - Programme 1
A political, groundbreaking and wildly original reading of Schoenberg’s rarely performed one act comic opera from 1929.
‘Schoenberg knew that fashions can be poisonous. Poisonous. That they can spread out like poison gas. That people breathe in these fashions and are turned into cripples almost without knowing it. And that it is happening faster and faster. Each fashion lasts for a shorter period. They chase after one another.’ J.-M. Straub
Huillet and Straub offer a political reading of Arnold Schoenberg’s rarely performed one act comic twelve-tone opera Von heute auf morgen
from 1928/29. The opera’s libretto was written by Gertrud Schoenberg, the composer’s wife, under the name ‘Max Blonda’. This ‘apocalypse on a domestic scale’, as Hanns Eisler described it, is a critique of modernity and a commentary on the position of women in the last days of the Weimar Republic under the guise of an apparently frivolous comedy of marriage. The film was shot in 35mm in a crepuscular and sharp black and white in a studio set reproducing a bourgeois family house, with reference to the silent comedies of Ernst Lubitsch or Carl Th. Dreyer. The film was recorded in absolute synchronicity, in direct sound and mono, with the music performed live by the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Frankfurt, conducted by Michael Gielen.
The screening opens L’arrotino
, an alternative take from Sicilia!
, a film made from the allegorical Conversations in Sicily
, one of the great novels of Italian anti-fascism written by Elio Vittorini.
The screening will be introduced by Martin Brady, Reader in German and Film Studies at King's College London.
Von heute auf morgen will be shown on a new 35mm print.
Von heute auf morgen will be the subject of a two-day event held the Goethe-Institut on the 12th and 13th of March.
, The Knife Sharpener, Dirs: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub , Italy/France, 2001, 35mm / Digital, b&w, 7 mins, Italian with English subtitles.
Von heute auf morgen
, From Today until Tomorrow
, Dirs: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub , Germany, 1997, 35mm, b&w, 62 mins., German with English subtitles.
Presented as part of The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet