On May 29, 1913, Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring debuted in Paris. By intermission, the police had been called in break up the riot that was going on in the aisles of the Theatre du Champs-Elysees. The dissonant harmonies, combined with the pagan narrative of a girl dancing herself to death, was too much for the pre-World War I audience to handle, but it wasn't long before The Rite of Spring entered the canon as one of the most important pieces of music ever written.
In contrast, Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera was met by relative silence when it debuted in Berlin in 1928, but it went on to produce some of the most recognizable jazz harmonies in the world, including the standard, "Mack the Knife," performed by everybody from Louis Armstrong to Bobby Darin.
Both of these masterpieces are on display in four short documentaries being screened at Cineclub 24 this Sunday. Two cover Stravinsky. The first is a production of Rite of Spring by the Joffrey Ballet; the second two are profiles of Stravinksy made by Oliver Hermann and Tony Palmer, respectively.
Then at 5:15 p.m. the program switches to G.W. Pabst's 1931 filming of the Threepenny Opera.
Sun., May 10, 2 p.m., 2009