acoolsha

Danièle Huillet / Jean-Marie Straub

Schwarze Sünde 4 February 07

Section: huillet-straub

Categories: Film / in-a-cinema

Sitting in raw, turned earth on a hill with a copse of I believe it was birch trees behind her, is Danièle Huillet, about to speak the part of the chorus in Hölderlin’s third version of The Death of Empedokles. After a while she turns her head to her right, our left, and recites the lines quoted further below.

There is a closer shot of her in profile, the camera in the same position with a longer lens, enhancing the flatness of the image, and thereby conversely enhancing the spatial quality of the image, inflating the space, conflating the rich sound with the light and space, the sound resonating of the bodies in its range, the earth, the trees, Danièle, her beautiful French accented voice reciting these German words. The space, light, and sound around us, our world.

I can’t presume to translate the passage into English here — if I ever find an official English translation I will share it in acoolsha.org — but the first words of the passage are: New World.

Last passage from Der Tod des Empedokles, 3. Fassung by Friedrich Hölderlin

Neue Welt
            und es hängt, ein ehern Gewölbe
der Himmel über uns, es lähmt Fluch
die Glieder den Menschen, und die stärkenden, die 
                                                              erfreuenden
Gaben der Erde sind, wie Spreu, es
spottet unser, mit ihren Geschenken, die Mutter
und alles ist Schein -
O wann, wann
       schon öffnet sie sich
       die Flut über die Dürre.
Aber wo ist er?
   Daß er beschwöre den lebendigen Geist
  • Title: Schwarze Sünde
  • Directed by: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
  • Writing credits: Friedrich Hölderlin
  • Starring: Andreas von Rauch, Vladimir Baratta, Howard Vernon, Danièle Huillet
  • Cinematography: William Lubtchansky
  • Year: 1989
  • Cinema: Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt