Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles is Chantal Akerman's 1975 experiment in film form, an astonishing work of subtextual feminism which has to count as one of the seminal films of the 1970s. As esteemed critic Manny Farber noted, Akerman's portrait of the daily household routines and self-imposed patterns of a Belgian single mother successfully merged such diverse generic movements as the matriarchal passion play, the architectural ethnography, and the non-narrative examinations of filmed space pioneered by Michael Snow and Andy Warhol into one cohesive precis. » read more
The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach is Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's version of film biography. The film presents biography as the rewriting and juxtaposition of prior documents; in this instance music and a chronicle are most prominent. Defined in this way, through a range of documents, Bach does not emerge as a conventional dramatic character. The importance of music in the film, which was performed and recorded during the filming rather than dubbed, stresses its centrality to the contemporary knowledge and appreciation of the historical figure Bach. » read more
Il ritorno del figlio prodigo looks back to a sequence in the previous work which had been adapted from Elio Vittorinis «The Women of Messine», published in 1949. Spine, a boy from an Italian peasant community, returns from the town where he had gone to sell a donkey. The following piece, Umiliati, is narratively independent of the first, but complements it thematically by continuing the exploration of Vittorinis text in even greater depth. The peasant community is confronted with three hunters who lay claim on the land. » read more
Quei loro incontri tells the story of a community of farmers after the Second World War. It is the sequel of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet's Dalla nube alla resistenza and like its prequel it is also inspired by Cesare Pavese's «Dialoghi con Leucò», first published in 1947.
The exhibition will be opened by a screening of "Moses and Aaron", a film by Straub and Huillet from 1975. The movie will be introduced by filmmaker Eyal Sivan. "With Moses und Aron, I have tried to destroy Stravinsky’s quote saying that music was powerless to express the most abstract, the most ordinary, the most concrete things." (Jean-Marie Straub). » read more
This film is a selection of the backstage filming during the breaks in filming of Quei Loro Incontri, using a small digital camera. It highlights three particular instants: the listening of the sound, the actors’ rehearsals, the choice of the specific shots. But it is the moment following these which becomes the central element, J’écoute!, (Listen!) which breaks the silence of men and nature. That which happened forces me to painfully concentrate on the joyous memory of Peccato nero (1989), the first film by Straub I ever saw in the cinema. » read more
Die Antigone des Sophokles nach der hölderlinschen Übertragung für die Bühne bearbeitet von Brecht 1948 (Suhrkamp Verlag) (Antigone)
In Antigone, violence is explained as inadequacy. The war against Argos is the result of mismanagement in Thebes. The robbed ones are obliged to become robbers themselves. The undertaking is beyond their strength. Instead of holding their strength together, violence breaks it down. Basic human elements explode when they are suppressed too much. This throws everything apart and towards destruction.
(Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub)
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Just as they previously did with Cesare Pavese in "From the Clouds to the Resistance", the Straubs bring to the screen Elio Vittorini, a great Italian writer to whom they remain true over a number of films. "Workers, Peasants" tells the story of a practical, political utopia: the attempt to create a new, different society among the Greeks immediately after the war. The subject is very dear to the Straubs. In their films, they repeatedly preoccupy themselves with questions on how we define a people and nature and what a people and nature really are. » read more
The deconstruction and partial reinstatement of a conventional device is a characteristic strategy in the work of Straub and Huillet. Fortini/Cani, which they made in 1977, centers on a book, I Cani del Sinai (The Dogs of the Sinai), written in response to the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War of 1967 by the Florentine poet and journalist Franco Fortini, who now in the film reads aloud from his book of ten years before. » read more
The source of History Lessons is Brecht's Die Geschafte des Herrn Julius Caesar. Straub and Huillet only present a fragment of the incompleted novel. They left out all the anecdotal material and concentrated on the discussions of economics. Straub said of the film while it was still in the planning stages: "It will be presented to be judged as a reflection on Marx."