Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, 2001

Nearly twenty years after Harun Farocki paid homage to the profound influence of Straub/Huillet’s cinema by filming their exhaustive rehearsal process during preparations for the shooting of their film Class Relations for the documentary Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet at Work…, Pedro Costa captures their equally exacting process of editing their feature film, Sicilia! in […]

Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet at Work on a Film Based on Franz Kafka’s Unfinished Novel ‘America’

The French word répétition – rather than the English word rehearsal – more closely captures the implicit connotation behind Straub and Huillet’s rigorous and exacting method of preparation for the shooting of Class Relations. A seated Straub asks the actor Christian Heinisch (who plays Rossmann) to deliver his lines over and over, each time, subtly […]

These Encounters of Theirs, 2006

In its exaggerated formalism, idiosyncratic performance, and extended temps morts, Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s These Encounters of Theirs is a rigorous and subversively irreverent, but thoughtful, sensual, and articulate meditation on the search for enlightenment, the rapture of divine inspiration, the intranscendable distance of gods, and the elusive quest for immortality. Composed of five […]

A Trip to the Louvre x2, 2004

Resonating in a similar vein as the organically meditative – though less ethereal – cultural elegies of Aleksandr Sokurov (specifically, Elegy of a Voyage and Russian Ark or a stylistically flattened early Alain Resnais art documentary (most notably, Van Gogh and Guernica), A Trip to the Louvre seems on the surface to be devoid of […]

Not Reconciled, or Only Violence Helps Where It Rules, 1965

An early episode of a sacramental canticle recited by a monotonic, impassive chorus (in an oddly surreal scene that fuses home economics and religion) provides an integrally illuminating puzzle piece to Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s maddeningly opaque and fragmented, yet abstractly intriguing and curiously resonant film, Not Reconciled: How shall we redeem the world? […]