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Baal 1982

  • Alan Clarke
  • February 2, 1982
  • 64 mins
  • Tv Movie
1982 BBC production of Bertholt Brecht's play Baal, starring and with music by David Bowie. Baal was the first full-length play written by the German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht. It concerns a wastrel youth who becomes involved in several sexual affairs and at least one murder. It was written in 1918, when Brecht was a 20-year-old student at Munich University, in response to the expressionist drama The Loner (Der Einsame) by the soon-to-become-Nazi dramatist Hanns Johst. The play is written in a form of heightened prose and includes four songs and an introductory choral hymn ("Hymn of Baal the Great"), set to melodies composed by Brecht himself. Brecht wrote it prior to developing the dramaturgical techniques of epic theatre that characterize his later work, although he did re-work the play in 1926.

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