Moses and Aaron plus Introduction to the Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene by Arnold Schoenberg
Moses and Aaron
Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's Moses and Aaron remains faithful to the philosophical content of Schoenberg's opera - the struggle between word and image - as well as to its dramatic potential. On its premiere at the New York Film Festival in 1975, Roger Greenspun wrote in the Soho Weekly News:
“In the opera, composed but never completed, in 1930-32, Moses, uneloquent prophet of an invisible, unimaginable God, stands opposed before the Jewish people by his brother Aaron, who...gives shape and voice to the incomprehensibleness Moses proposes. Moses wins, banishing Aaron and thus rendering himself wordless - his role is mainly spoken or chanted rather than sung....
“(Straub's) films are...always historical - Marxist historical...usually with a deliberately anachronistic sense of history...to add to the complexity of the scene. With Moses and Aaron Schoenberg's music and conception may provide enough of a change upon the Biblical story, and the film emerges as Straub's most straightforward work to date....”