Based on an unknown Schönberg opera from 1929, From Today Until Tomorrow explores one night in a not-quite loveless marriage. A husband and wife return from a party where she has flirted with another man, while he has cast an appraising eye toward an attractive, fashionably dressed acquaintance of his wife’s. Though each dreams, briefly, of leaving the marriage for the excitement and mystery of a new lover, in the end they decide stability and comfort are more important than the fleeting thrill of new romance. Directors Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, who previously collaborated on two other films about music (The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, 1968, and Moses and Aaron, 1975), rely on long fixed shots in austere black-and-white so that the focus remains on the musical brilliance of Schönberg’s atonal score, performed here by 70 musicians. That Schönberg would choose such a relatively lighthearted message for his newly discovered musical language remains a mystery, especially since the conclusion reached by the husband and wife—to stick with the tried and true—seems directly at odds with Schönberg’s own philosophy of composing. It is just this juxtaposition, however, coupled with Straub and Huillet’s faithful presentation, that makes the opera a compelling addition to the Schönberg canon—and the film such a challenging and intriguing experience.
495MB | 59mn 1s | 640×480 | avi