Moses and Aaron
Dir. Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet, France/Germany/Italy, 1973, 107 min.
Moses and Aaron finds Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle
Huillet, through their exemplary craft, transforming a familiar Biblical tale
into a borderline-surreal cinematic opera of seemingly endless possibility. In
expressive, melodic tones, the fraternal pair debate God’s true message and
intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers — in
extravagantly choreographed song and dance — towards chaos and sin. Set almost
entirely within a Roman amphitheater whose history lends every precise
line-reading and gesture, every startling camera move and cut, a totalizing
force, Straub-Huillet’s adaptation of Schoenberg’s unfinished opera opens
us to the stimulating worldview of a filmmaking duo whose masterful
efforts are finally coming to light.