Danièle Huillet / Jean-Marie Straub

Quei Loro Incontri 3 February 07

Section: huillet-straub

Categories: Film / in-a-cinema

Watching this film, the last full-length film the Straubs did together, gives me the sense that I understand Italian, and with this film I do somewhat. Not that it is about that, but it is about understanding and seeing anew, among many other things.

It is so powerful and radical. I have been meaning to write more about these films, shown over the weekend in memory of Danièle Huillet. Words fail me at the moment.


  • Title: Quei Loro Incontri
  • Directed by: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
  • Writing credits: Cesare Pavese, from his book: Dialoghi con Leucò
  • Starring: Angela Nugara, Vittorio Vigneri, Grazia Orsi, Romano Guelfi, Angela Durantini and Enrico Achilli
  • Year: 2006
  • Venue: Filmmuseum, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Further details: 108 minutes

Un Visite au Louvre 3 February 07

Section: huillet-straub

Categories: Film / in-a-cinema

Cézanne’s and Gasquet’s words, again, as in Paul Cézanne in Conversation with Joachim Gasquet.

  • Title: Un Visite au Louvre
  • Directed by: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
  • Writing credits: Joachim Gasquet in interview with Paul Cézanne
  • Year: 2004
  • Further details: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Danièle Huillet 14 November 06

Section: huillet-straub

Categories: Mention

With shock and terrible sadness I have just found out that Danièle Huillet has died. I don’t know what to say. My mind races with banal thoughts along the lines of “she always seemed so healthy” and how I never considered the possibility of her dying.

And how I can’t imagine Straub making a film again. These two great artists were to cinema precisely what Cézanne was to painting. Their uncompromising heart/art, political consciousness and esthetic leave most other filmmakers in their shadows. Their unpretentiousness, passion and respect for humanity have imprinted my life decisively, I think of them and their work almost every day.

I first met them in Paris in 1982 where they invited me to “assist” for a day on the shooting of En rachachant, a film based on a story by Marguerite Duras. The cinematographer was Henri Alekan, who had also done the cinematography on Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast . The elderly Alekan remained seated most of the time, giving instructions to assistants who adjusted the lights in the Montmarte schoolhouse where they were filming. Straub finely adjusted the position of the enormous 35mm camera with one assistant, often going to the floor in the camera’s field of view and removing some piece of dust or dirt, or adjusting an object in the room, or a fold in some cloth, before then having Danièle or Alekan look through the viewfinder to approve or disapprove, which sometimes led to further adjustments.

For the Straubs there was no difference between the integrity of the Einstellung of the camera and their own Einstellung →, their own view of, and approach to, life.

I will have to come back to this, I will have more to say.

Links → →

Also visit my section on Huillet-Straub’s films on the right under “Sections On.”

Quote from Guardian article above

They courted controversy right until the end, when their latest film, Ces Rencontres avec Eux (These Encounters of Theirs), based on Pavese, was shown in competition at this year’s Venice film festival. Explaining their non-attendance at the festival, they sent a message that said they would be “unable to be festive at a festival where there are so many public and private police looking for a terrorist … but so long as there’s American imperialistic capitalism, there’ll never be enough terrorists in the world.” Nevertheless, the jury gave them a special prize “for invention of cinematic language in the ensemble of their work”. They replied that it was “too late for their lives, but too early for their deaths”.

Straub and Huillet

  • Title: Danièle Huillet

Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter 3 June 04

Section: huillet-straub

Categories: Film / in-a-cinema

Once I saw a photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt with something like the following printed on it:

”God showed his love for us by giving us Bach.”

Title: Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter (The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp)

Directed by: Jean-Marie Straub

Script by: Jean-Marie Straub

Script: According to Roud—Incorporating the play Krankheit der Jugend by Ferdinand Bruckner, abridged and produced by Jean-Marie Straub; and extracts from the poetry of San Juan de la Cruz [St John of the Cross]: Romance 7, first stanza; Cantico espiritual, stanza 20; Romance 22

Starring: James Powell (James) Lilith Ungerer (Marie / Lilith) Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Peer Raben, Irm Hermann, Kristin Peterson, Hanna Schygulla, Rudolf Waldemar Brem_

Editors: Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub

Music: Johann Sebastian Bach (from the Ascension Oratorio BWV 11)

Language: German

Length: 23 minutes

Year: 1968

Cinema: Filmmuseum Frankfurt

  • Title: Der Bräutigam, die Komödiantin und der Zuhälter