Jean-Marie Straub + Daniele Huillet

The husband and wife team who created radical minimalist films for over 40 years

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Combined with the challenge often presented in comprehending the spoken word in their films, the spectator must adopt new methods of viewing. Certainly they must expect a certain amount of resistance, especially on initial screenings (and certain of their films resist me still), but the reward is there – frustration gives way to moments of sublimity rarely paralleled in the cinema, incomprehension cedes to revelation.
-Daniel Fairfax

“No one seriously interested in film should neglect (Straub and Huillet) or the theoretical issues that attend them.”
-David Thomson

“The power and beauty in these films are not the kind that they (or we) can comfortably live with, because they essentially tell us to change our life -– which ‘movies’ aren’t supposed to do, except metaphorically. The trouble with Straub-Huillet: they mean business.”
-Jonathan Rosenbaum

 The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)

Recommended Reading:

  • A career retrospective by Daniel Fairfax from Senses of Cinema
  • Daniele Huillet’s obituary in the Times, written by Dave Kehr
  • An introduction to a 1982 showing of Straub and Huillet’s films by Jonathan Rosenbaum
  • A brief profile on Straub and Huillet at They Shoot Pictures, Don’t They?