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Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

Northwest Film Center
Event organized by Northwest Film Center

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Newly restored for its 50th anniversary, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s famously uncompromising vision of cinema is a work of serene beauty. Recitations of fictional diary entries of Anna Magdalena Bach, an accomplished singer and the second wife of famed composer Johann Sebastian Bach, intersperse with full performances of Bach works, on period instruments—staged by musicologist Gustav Leonhardt, who also portrays Bach—and in many spaces the Bachs actually occupied during their lives. Emerging from this relatively simple setup is a wholly experiential film: “the purity of experience after all tinkering is still there, and all complications melt away as you move along, sutured into the film’s reality such as to render the experience of watching Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach to be as if it were the only film in existence.”—Eric Barroso, Screen Slate.