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"For example John Ford’s movies are profoundly political."--Panel discussion between Pierre Clémenti, Miklós Jancsó, Glauber Rocha and Jean-Marie Straub (1970), Jean-Marie Straub

"Die gegen den Faschismus sind, ohne gegen den Kapitalismus zu sein, die über die Barbarei jammern, die von der Barbarei kommt, gleichen Leuten, die ihren Anteil vom Kalb essen wollen, aber das Kalb soll nicht geschlachtet werden."-- Versuche (1930) by Bertolt Brecht, cited in Einleitung zu Arnold Schoenbergs Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene (1973) by Straub–Huillet

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Jean-Marie Straub (1933 — 2022) and Danièle Huillet (1936 – 2006) were a duo of French filmmakers who made two dozen films between 1963 and 2006. Their films are noted for their rigorous, intellectualistic style and radical, communist politics. While both were French, they worked mostly in Germany and Italy. From the Clouds to the Resistance (1979) and Sicilia! (1999) are among the duo's best regarded works.

They admired John Ford.



Jean-Marie Straub met Danièle Huillet as a student in 1954. Straub was involved in the Parisian cinephile community of the time, and was a friend of François Truffaut. Between 1954 and 1958, Straub worked as an assistant to the film directors Robert Bresson, Abel Gance, Jean Renoir, and Jacques Rivette. Straub and Huillet made their first film together, an 18-minute short called Machorka-Muff in 1963; it was based on a story by Heinrich Böll. Their next film, the 55-minute Not Reconciled, was also a Böll adaptation. They did not make a full-length feature until 1968's Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, after which they made films at a fairly even rate, completing a feature every 2–3 years. In 1968, they also made a short film starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder and his theatre troupe called The Bridegroom, the Actress and the Pimp. During their career, they adapted two Arnold Schoenberg operas, as well as Franz Kafka's first novel, Amerika.

They married in 1959, and the two lived together for most of their lives. They had no children.

Huillet died of cancer in Cholet on 9 October 2006. Straub currently resides in Rome and Paris.

Style and content

All of the films of Straub and Huillet are based on other works: novels, operas, plays and less conventional source materials, such as political writings. Many of their films, such as Klassenverhältnisse, stress the relationship between the original text and the film. Their movies also have a strong Marxist political overtone, with certain works.

Aesthetically, their films are often described as being 'austere'. They utilize long, immobile takes, often framed in an unconventional but seemingly primitive way. Key actions or objects are often not shown, leaving the audience instead to imagine them or have them described by the characters. Straub and Huillet also make heavy use of direct sound and non-professional actors.


Due to his more extroverted nature, Jean-Marie Straub served as the public face of the couple and it was therefore assumed that Huillet's role in their filmmaking process was secondary. In reality, the two split their work equally, with Straub responsible for the shooting and production, Huillet controlling most of the editing and post-production duties and the two being equally responsible for the pre-production, texts and rehearsals. This method can be seen in Pedro Costa's documentary Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, filmed during the editing of Sicilia!, one of their last features.


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A Chronicle of Corpses, Adieu Philippine, Agnès Varda, Alain Resnais, Alexandre Astruc, Amerika (novel), André Bazin, Andreas Weiland, Anna Magdalena Bach, Antigone (Brecht play), Armand Gatti, Arthouse musical, Auteur, Billiards at Half-Past Nine, Biographies of Johann Sebastian Bach, Black Sin, Breathless (1960 film), Cahiers du Cinéma, Cahiers du Cinéma's Annual Top 10 Lists, Chris Marker, Cinema of Germany, Cinema Scope, Cinémathèque Française, Claude Chabrol, Cléo from 5 to 7, Colette Baudoche, Colossal Youth (film), Deborah Stratman, Dialogue of Shadows, Diego Fiori, Documenta 6, En rachâchant, Éric Rohmer, Film Comment Selects, Fool's Mate (1956 film), François Truffaut, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Franz Kafka, French New Wave, From the Clouds to the Resistance, Georg Brintrup, Gian Vittorio Baldi, Ground Zero Gallery, Günter Reich, Gustav Leonhardt, Harun Farocki, Henri Colpi, Henri Langlois, Hiroshima mon amour, History Lessons, Holger Meins, Institut des hautes études en arts plastiques, Jackals and Arabs, Jacques Demy, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Jacques Rivette bibliography, Jacques Rivette filmography, Jacques Rivette, Jacques Rozier, January 8, Jean Douchet, Jean Eustache, Jean Renoir, Jean Rouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Marie, Jean-Pierre Melville, John Ford, Jump cut, Klassenverhältnisse, Late bloomer, Laura Betti, Le Beau Serge, Le Signe du Lion, Leopard of Honour, List of avant-garde artists, List of directors associated with art film, List of film auteurs, Lorraine, Louis Malle, Love Is Colder Than Death (film), Luc Moullet, Manoel de Oliveira, Marguerite Duras, Marilù Parolini, Mario Adorf, May 1, Miguel Abreu Gallery, Moses und Aron (film), Moses und Aron, Munich Film Archive, Nephele, New German Cinema, Nicole Lubtchansky, Not Reconciled, October 9, Olimpia Carlisi, Paris Belongs to Us, Paul Cézanne, Pedro Costa, Pesaro International Film Festival, Philippe de Broca, Philippe Grandrieux, Pierre Braunberger, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Ray Milne, Rectangle (label), Renato Berta, Richard Brody bibliography, Richard Roud, Sicilia!, Sicily (disambiguation), Sleep Has Her House, Sonic Acts, Statue of Liberty in popular culture, Straub, Straub–Huillet, Sutherland Trophy, Talking to Strangers (film), The 400 Blows, The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, The Death of Empedocles (film), The Death of Empedocles, The Moon and the Bonfires, Themes and style in the works of Jacques Rivette, Thom Andersen, Too Early/Too Late, Twin Bracelets, Two in the Wave, Underground film, Von heute auf morgen, William Lubtchansky, Women's cinema

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Straub–Huillet" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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