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A Straub-Huillet Retrospective

MUBI Special

MUBI is proud to announce the first-ever online retrospective of one of the most important filmmaking partnerships, the husband and wife team of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Since their debut, Machorka-Muff (Venice Film Festival, 1962), this duo, frequently referred to as the unified front of Straub-Huillet, has carved their own path through cinema, making fiercely materialist and confrontative films of staunch political commitment against capitalism, oppression, fascism, and historical amnesia. Fastidiously basing their films on great works of art, yet rooting their adaptations in the present—and much-contested—moment of post-war European history, the duo’s range encompasses Bach, Heinrich Böll, Corneille, Brecht, Pavese, and Schoenberg. MUBI’s 13-film retrospective will be presenting new digital restorations.

Not Reconciled, Or Only Violence Helps Where Violence Rules

Jean-Marie Straub West Germany, 1965

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

50 years of German history in nearly 50 minutes, such is Straub-Huillet’s audacity. For such a scope, the duo reject conventional storytelling in favor of a more confrontative, daring cinema. Time and people are fragmented across eras in order to discover the past within the present—and vice versa.

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

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub West Germany, 1970

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

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.

History Lessons

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Italy, 1972

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A Straub-Huillet
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Modern-day traffic in Rome and the life of Julius Caesar collide in this radical adaptation of a Brecht novel. Straub-Huillet continue to fearlessly remove the gap between Roman history and Italy’s 20th century by revealing Caesar’s transformative impact through ancient characters and modern images.

Moses and Aaron

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub West Germany, 1975

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A Straub-Huillet
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One of Straub-Huillet’s most iconic films, their bold approach to cinematic adaptation was to record live singing in the desert in order to spark a direct encounter between viewer and Schoenberg’s profound music. The libretto’s drama is as important: a tale of leadership, rebellion, and miracles.

Fortini/Cani

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Italy, 1976

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

Our Straub-Huillet retrospective leaps into the 20th century to meet Franco Fortini and, through his writing, encounter Italian fascism, resistance, and the thread of violence extending beyond World War II. Along with his words, the verdant landscape is revealed as a site of struggle and death.

From the Clouds to the Resistance

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Italy, 1979

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A Straub-Huillet
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The first of many rewarding encounters between Cesare Pavese and Straub-Huillet, who adapt the Italian author’s tales of the meeting between gods and men—set in nature—with a sensual directness. Here too is part of his great post-war novel, thereby connecting the heavens to earth and man’s violence.

Too Early, Too Late

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Egypt, 1982

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

Collided, compared, brought together: France and Egypt; the 18th century and the 20th; revolution and colonialism; the fields and the city; the land and the people; the past and the present. Such is the cinema of Straub-Huillet: dialectical to its very being, always questioning, forever pursuing.

Workers, Peasants

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub Italy, 2001

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

Amateur actors from the regional Buti theater, many of them ordinary laborers and farmers, recite passages from a novella which centers on a group of workers who rebuild their lives in the the aftermath of the Second World War.

Communists

Jean-Marie Straub France, 2014

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137 days
A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

Composed in six parts, Communists re-ignites scenes from the diverse filmography of Straub-Huillet, moving from Switzerland to Italy to Egypt, to chart a story of resistance across the 20th century.

Machorka-Muff

Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet West Germany, 1963

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A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

We launched our retrospective of filmmakers Straub-Huillet with their most well-known film, and now we resume with their first: a blistering adaptation of Heinrich Böll. The film’s remarkably complex story and high modernist style is a vision of post-war German society by turns wry and ruthless.

Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

Danièle Huillet, Jean-Marie Straub West Germany, 1968

expired 9 days ago
A Straub-Huillet
Retrospective

MUBI is proud to launch the first online retrospective of directors Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Their beautiful, fiercely engaged, and staunchly confrontative films are landmarks of modernist cinema. We begin with their boldly unconventional Bach biopic that gloriously exalts his music.

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Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.