The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

Some cinematic disappointments recently. One was Anna Magdalena Bach’s Chronicle, the Straub/Huillet film from 1967. It must be the least 'dramatised' documentary ever made. I was looking forward to seeing Gustav Leonhardt and colleagues playing JS Bach on period instruments, and there’s plenty of that, but putting Gustav into a wig and 18C stockings doesn’t turn him into J. Sebastian, not by a long ricercar. And, as for cinematic qualities, this makes Ozu or Bresson look like MTV. I think there be two dollies in the whole ninety long minutes. For the rest, you might as well be looking at old paintings while listening to the phonograph.

The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (Straub/Huillet, 1967)

Garry Gillard | New: 6 March, 2017 | Now: 6 March, 2017