It is the discovery of a document recognising the services rendered by two fishermen from Lake Geneva during the Occupation that triggered the investigation undertaken by Swiss author Janine Massard in her novel Gens du lac, published in 2013. Jean-Marie Straub retraces the itinerary of the son, Paulus – just as he and Danièle Huillet had followed that of Jean Bricard just over ten years ago in the last film they made together. Gens du lac does not depart from the rule that sets each Straubfilm as an account of a historical situation in which men have resisted (Daney). Shot aboard a boat and hardly ever leaving the lake’s waters, the film depicts the life of this only son who has found brothers over the course of his fishing – be it his first steps in the trade, the help given to fugitives and deliveries of provisions to the Resistance, or his contribution to the emergence of a new Left in post-war Francophone Switzerland. Finding the seeds of a political act in this unconditional hospitality, Straub gradually dissipates the peaceful impression and conservative spirit of this “friendly, even emollient” landscape, and distinguishes between the silence “recommended during the hostilities” from the silence that subsequently enjoined people not to disturb the political order. While the people of the lake do not guard a frontier, they do, on the other hand, belong to a front. (Antoine Thirion) Read More »
Jean-Marie Straub pushes this musicality of blocks to a paroxysmal extreme, mixing blocks of time (40 years separate the various extracts that are going to be used, and what is to be filmed), blocks of text (Malraux, Fortini, Vittorini, Hölderlin) and blocks of language (French, Italian, German), and from this ruckus emerges the history of the world, yes, History with a capital H, and from the same movement, the political hope of its being overtaken. So this is an adventure film, about the Human adventure, still one that is always, in the end, overtaken by Nature. Read More »
A silent aquarium with numerous fishes
then the same aquarium with music Read More »
The texts in Cesare Pavese’s “Dialoghi con leucò” have a stake in the old and the new alike. It is the lively tension, the bridge between myth and modernity of these texts that deeply touches us and which as a new experience so wonderfully permeates this film by Jean-Marie Straub. Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of LA MADRE is the complete transparency and darkness that is revealed at the same time. Read More »
A minimalist recitation by Barbara Ulrich of Book 2 chapter 6 of Montaigne’s Essays. Read More »
These 22m41s consist of two shots with a text from Maurice Barrès about the decay of Venice followed by a movement from Cantata 205 from the Straubs’ Bach movie. Read More »
Le streghe – Femmes entre elles
2008, 20 minutes 19 secondes, couleur
D’après Le streghe, Dialogues avec Leucò de Cesare Pavese.
“The dialog is question here, “The Witches,” which Straub inexplicably renamed in French “Femmes entre elles,” is Circe telling Leucotea why Odysseus left her.
Pavese’s Dialoghi con Leucò (note accent) consists of 26 dialogs between 52 mythical characters. 6 of these conversations were filmed in Dalla nube alla resistenza; 5 more (the last 5) in Quei loro incontri; then 2 were filmed separately, Le Genou d’Artemide (note no accent) and Le streghe. These last three are technically French films, albeit filmed in Italy with Italian actors in Italian.”
Circée : “Je pense à une chose, Leucò. Aucune de nous, déesses, n’a jamais voulu se faire mortelle, aucune ne l’a jamais désiré. Et pourtant là serait le nouveau, qui briserait la chaîne.”