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Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times, or, Perhaps One Day Rome Will Allow Herself to Choose in Her Turn

Les yeux ne veulent pas en tout temps se fermer, ou Peut-être qu'un jour Rome se permettra de choisir à son tour

West Germany, Italy, 1970
Drama
  • French
  • English
A Straub-Huillet Retrospective

Synopsis

A faithful adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s classic tragedy Othon, set amid ruins in modern-day Rome. With the play, the film examines the process by which events enter our cultural mainstream, and the process by which their use as part of a communications system is transformed into Culture.

Our take

We leave Germany for imperial Italy in our next Straub-Huillet film, a brazen historical drama that fuses 1969 Rome with Corneille’s 17th century play to invoke the drama of power struggles across the centuries. The past is shown as fiercely alive and old texts speak vividly of the present moment.

Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times, or, Perhaps One Day Rome Will Allow Herself to Choose in Her Turn Directed by Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Watch now
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Critics reviews

It unearths a complex archeology of contradictions. Rather than isolating individual layers of history and narrative, it invites the viewer to experience the tension between past and present, between fiction and reality. Othon is demanding, but thought and reflection shouldn’t detract from our appreciation of the film. The “clique of power” that Straub-Huillet challenge governs not only the structures of power but also the aesthetic standards through which we judge art as valuable or not.
September 20, 2017
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