One of the great films of the period – Straub/Huillet’s first feature has at its center Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. It is not so much a record of the composer’s life, but rather a rigorous representation of how the music was made. Unfolding in beautifully composed immersive shots we listen and experience the music as it is being performed as a pure aesthetic material. Interspersed are fictional diary readings by Bach’s second wife, Anna, detailing the struggling life of her husband, weathering poverty, child mortality, and other vicissitudes of fate, that reflect the inextricability of art and life.
Introduced by Martin Brady, King's College London.
West Germany 1968, 94 min, b/w, DCP, German with English subtitles. Written and directed by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Cinematography by Ugo Piccone. With Gustav Leonhardt, Christine Lang.
This event ist part of the series Neue Welt: Radical Visions in New German Cinema