"Workers, Peasants" is Straub/Huillet's laziest effort that I have seen. The message is exactly what you'd normally expect from Straub and Huillet, take it or leave it; the presentation, however, is plagued with poor directors' work with actors (who would have had lots of potential otherwise), the unnecessary mannerism and lack of creativity. Some might say, it's avantgarde. I would say, it's couldn't-care-lessness.
Best one of theirs in this style? The text is excellent (not just a pick of a great classic), the leap to digital solves some problems of previous ones (special mention to sound), pauses are just right (even if may be too long to 90% of people to follow for two hours) and actors deliver with their voices and gestures. Same as before, but notably better. Still AI replaceable with very few lines of code.
Vittorini's WOMEN OF MESSINA--which Straub-Huillet's extremely lovely WORKERS, PEASANT adapts--enshrines a laudable communard experiment forged in the aftermath of seismic civilizational calamity. The 21st century has witnesses the intensification of a post-Fordist neoliberal nightmare. Our recourse? I note especially the passage extolling the value of the laurel, both a matter of aesthetics & ease of cultivation.
If Scorsese and Coppola don't view Marvel movies as cinema then I'd love to know what they think of the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, both of whom seem intent on delivering any messages in the most offputting, arid, stilted, way possible. This gets a generous rating for some of the content, but it is yet another endurance test as people stand around in a wooded area and read pages of narration.
Interessante l'impostazione e il concetto, anche se credo che avrebbe reso meglio a teatro. A tratti soporifero, ma se si presta attenzione, la scrittura è super (tutto merito di Elio, but still). Ho rischiato di addormentarmi un paio di volte, ma sono contenta di essere riuscita a vederlo... molto diverso dagli altri — e in italiano, dettaglio che ha reso il compito decisamente meno impegnativo del solito.
While the workers'/peasants' narratives contain much to admire in terms of the care with which details of physical surroundings, animals, houses and milieu recreate memory's compensation for 'temps perdu', one can discern a certain cinematic fatigue in the specific project; thus, one could only speculate the impact this would have, had it been filmed in Brechtean tableaux. Nonetheless, it is absorbing and chthonic.
Admittedly a struggle. Conceptually I admire it very much - the reduced delivery, the attention to the quotidian work of the peasants. Things that I can point to enjoying elsewhere. The setting is gorgeous, the framing perfect. However the tone of delivery rendered it very hard for me to keep engaged, to follow a narrative where characters aren't always clearly stipulated. I think this speaks more of my weakness
Huillet & Straub go down in the woods to film their very amateur actors reading Elio Vittorini aloud. Fans of their work will know what to expect. The only novelty is in having an outdoor shoot where you never see the sky in frame until the very end. The only let-up an occasional pivot to take in the cast and some foliage. Artistically worthless. People only like them for their politics. Read the book instead
Was the invisible commandment of this film, enforced by a comparably invisible death squad (shooting camerifle) that had actors dared sneak anything personal into acting, they’d be hit on the spot? Is this a socialist realism type of play reduced to its bare-bones theoretical skeleton, where actors are types, umbrella terms, polyphonic voices channeled to speak through a single mouth? Is this about a confederacy that