Brecht's Alcoholic Comedy about Master-Servant Dialectic
Fine film adaptation of Brecht's 1940 exile play; Brecht himself (who helped the director with the film) thought it the only adequate filming of his work ever produced. Note that the music is by Hans Eisler, an important film composer who worked with T.W. Adorno on "Composition for the Film;" and Curt Bois, who plays Puntila, acted in this role under Brecht's own direction. This film can be compared with Hans-Juergen Syberberg's documentary film ("Syberberg filmt bei Brecht") of Brecht's own stage production with Curt Bois. One only misses DEFA film actor Erwin Geschonneck, who was Matti in the play. An important film for 20th century theater history. Cavalcanti's added framing sequences with sung commentary by the female servants is very much in Brechtian spirit. Much of the dialogue of the play is preserved unchanged. Cavalcanti's added scenes of Finnish nature are also completely in the spirit of the original play, where the beauty of the countryside was meant to contrast with lopsided human relations.
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