Culture > Events > Workshop & Film Screening ‘Mama, what are modern people?’ Straub-Huillet’s adaptation of Schoenberg’s comic opera

Event Date: 23rd Mar 2019 | 14:00

Workshop & Film Screening ‘Mama, what are modern people?’ Straub-Huillet’s adaptation of Schoenberg’s comic opera

GOETHE-INSTITUT LONDON 50 Princes Gate Exhibition Road SW7 2PH London

‘When I think of films I imagine future ones, which will inevitably be artistic. And my music will go very well with them!’ (Arnold Schoenberg)

This workshop, led by Martin Brady and Larson Powell, will look in detail at Straub-Huillet’s third Schoenberg film, Von heute auf morgen (From Today Until Tomorrow). It includes a screening of the film and Schoenberg’s Phantasy for Violin with Piano Accompaniment, op. 47, (1949), performed live by Elizaveta Saul (violin) and Kumi Matsuo (piano) and introduced by Maiko Kawabata, Lecturer in Music at the Royal College of Music.

2.00pm: Film screening: From Today Until Tomorrow (35mm, 62mins), followed by workshop

17.30pm: Music Performance, Royal College of Music (across the street from the Goethe-Institut)

Martin Brady teaches German and Film Studies at King’s College London. He has published on European film (especially GDR, Brechtian, and documentary cinema), music (Arnold Schönberg, Paul Dessau), philosophy, literature, Jewish exile architects, the visual arts (Joseph Beuys, Anselm Kiefer), disability, foraging, and ordinariness. With Joanne Leal he published a monograph on the collaborative films of Wim Wenders and Peter Handke. He has translated Victor Klemperer’s LTI and works as a freelance interpreter and visual artist.

Larson Powell is Professor of Film Studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He has published and lectured in Europe and the US on German film and literature, media theory, and film sound, as well as on musicology and the aesthetics of modernism, with a special focus on Adorno.  His books include The Technological Unconscious (2008) on modern German literature of nature, The Differentiation of Modernism (2013) on post-1945 electronic media art and a forthcoming book on East German film maker Konrad Wolf (2019). 


About the film:

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, who signed as ‘Max Blonda’. This ‘apocalypse on a domestic scale’, as Hans 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.

Von heute auf morgen, From Today until Tomorrow, Dirs: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub,Germany / France, 1996, 35mm, b&w, 62 min., in German with English subtitles.


Price: £5, concession £3, free for Goethe-Institut language students and library members, booking essential


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Posted: 19th Mar 2019 | 08:50

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