Jean-Marie Straub2001-2010FranceShort Film

Jean-Marie Straub – Corneille-Brecht (Versions A, B, C) (2009)

In leaps of physical color and sound, Cornelia Geiser recites verses from two of Pierre Corneille’s Roman plays, Horace and Othon (“As for the school of dialectics, well Corneille is nevertheless the greatest…” said Straub), followed by a reading of Bertolt Brecht’s 1939 radio play The Trial of Lucullus, a powerful recitative on war-crimes in fourteen short pieces (never broadcast; later turned into an opera by Brecht and Paul Dessau in East Germany).

In the Lucullus play, which Brecht said at the time “more or less reaches the limit of what can be said” during a time of oppression, a Roman General is summoned to the netherworld to stand trial for the crimes and sufferings he has inflicted on the common people and slaves. A giant frieze is hauled in and analyzed for the variety of life seen plundered there.

Across centuries of Western civilization, Straub and Geiser, in one corner of a small Parisian apartment, bridge these texts of different epochs, confront the barbarous rulers of ancient Rome, the kings of 17th-century France, the fascists of Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, and, by implication, those in power today.

Cumulatively, it is not the rulers who are the main characters here, but the collective judgement of the oppressed upon the oppressor.

CORNEILLE–BRECHT Version A (Jean-Marie Straub, 2009).mkv

Container:  	Matroska
Runtime: 	26 min 42 s
Size: 	580 MiB
Codec: 	x264
Resolution: 	1920x1080 
Aspect ratio:  	16:9
Frame rate: 	25.000 fps
Bit rate: 	2 781 kb/s
BPP: 	0.054
#1:  	2.0ch AAC LC @ 253 kb/s,_2009).mkv,_2009).mkv,_2009).mkv

Language(s):French, German
Subtitles:hardcoded English subtitles for version C

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