1981-1990ArthouseDanièle Huillet and Jean-Marie StraubDocumentaryFrance

Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub – Trop tôt/Trop tard AKA Too Early, Too Late (1982)


D’après La Question paysanne en France et en Allemagne et une lettre à karl Kautsky de Friedrich Engels et de La lutte des classes en Egyptes de 1945 à 1968 de Mahmoud Hussein.

Film en deux parties dont la première est consacrée à la France, la seconde à l’Egypte. Sur les images de la campagne bretonne est lu un texte de Hengels décrivant la misère des paysans en 1789. Pour l’Egypte, c’est un texte de l’historien Mahmoud Hussein sur la lutte des classes dans ce pays depuis Bonaparte jusqu’au règne de Sadate.

Featuring a justly infamous, even startling opening sequence with a tilted camera pointed out the window of a moving car that keeps driving and driving around a famous traffic circle (forget the name) in Paris for 10 odd minute – a continual 360 that never catches a glimpse of its axis, too perfect – TOO EARLY, TOO LATE is a singular meditation and extended visual metaphor on the theme of revolution (get it??) shot in a variety of locations and cities with a Marxist voice-over reading from famous selections on the subject. Quite unlike anything else you’ll see and while obviously not what you’d call entertainment, some of the shooting once you get outside the city is breathtakingly beautiful. Are they trying to implicate us in this collective indifference to social ills by growing absorbed in the natural beauty of the surroundings? I’m not sure, but certainly Straub/Huillet’s subtle avant-garde combo filmwork is among the most underappreciated in German and, indeed, international cinema.

There is also a small French hardsubbed part at the end:


Language(s):French and English narration
Subtitles:English (one files for each narration)

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