April 21, 2007

some Straub/Huillet carte blanche selections...

____Torino Film Festival, 2001____

Greed (1924, Stroheim)

Monsieur Verdoux (1947, Chaplin)

Un condamné à mort s'est échappé (1956, Bresson)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953, Hawks)

A Corner in Wheat (1909, Griffith)

L'Espoir (1945, Malraux)

Vredens dag (1943, Dreyer)

Gion no shimai (Sisters of Gion, 1936, Mizoguchi)

A King in New York (1957, Chaplin)

You and Me (1938, Lang)

This Land is Mine (1943, Renoir)

L'Argent (1983, Bresson)

Aleksandr Nevskiy (1938, Eisenstein)

Ici et Ailleurs (1976, Miéville, Godard, Gorin)

Shestaya chast mira (One-Sixth of the World, 1926, Vertov)

____Film at the Public Retrospective, New York, 1982__

Antonio das Mortes (1969, Rocha)

Vreden Dag (1943, Dreyer)

A King in New York (1957, Chaplin)

A Corner in Wheat (1909, Griffith)

Las Hurdes (1932, Bunuel)

Civil War (1962, John Ford)

Aleksandr Nevskiy (1938, Eisenstein)

Blind Husbands (1918, Stroheim)

This Land is Mine (1943, Renoir)

Zangiku Monogatari (Story of the Late Chrysanthemums, 1939, Mizoguchi)

Une Aventure de Billy le Kid (A Girl is a Gun, 1970, Moullet)

selected but not screened:

Journal d'un curé de campagne (Diary of a Country Priest, 1951, Bresson)

The Big Sky (1952, Hawks)

Der Tiger von Eschnapur + Das indische Grabmal (1959, Lang)

alternate choices:

Cloak and Dagger (1946, Lang)

Oyû-sama (Miss Oyu, 1951, Mizoguchi)

Akasen chitai (Street of Shame, 1956, Mizoguchi)

Les Contrabandieres (The Smugglers, 1967, Moullet)

In the program, J. Rosenbaum notes that in the same year, in Paris, their selections went:

City Lights (1931, Chaplin)

Captaine Fracasse (1943, Gance)

Sansho Dayu (1954, Mizoguchi)

Partie de campagne (1936, Renoir)

Boudu, sauve des eaux (1932, Renoir)


André Dias said...

Juventude em marcha. Carta branca a Pedro Costa, Jean Marie Straub e Danièle Huillet
Cinemateca Portuguesa - Lisboa, 2003(?)

La nuit du carrefour (1932, Renoir)
Número zero (1971, Eustache)
Los olvidados (1950, Buñuel)
Novvy Vavilon (1929, Kozintzev, Trauberg)
Parade (1974, Tati)
Journal d'un curé de campagne (1951, Bresson)
Hatari! (1962, Hawks)
Umarete wa mita keredo (1931, Ozu)
One plus one (1968, Godard)
La carrosse d'or (1952, Renoir)
His new job, A night out, The champion, In the park (1915, Chaplin)
A jitney elopment, The tramp, By the sea, Work (1915, Chaplin)
A countess from Hong Kong (1967, Chaplin)
Sansho dayu (1954, Mizoguchi)
Il regno di Napoli (1978, Schroeter)
Alexander Nevskii (1938, Eisenstein)
A woman, The bank , Shangaied, A night in the show (1915, Chaplin)
Carmen, Police, Triple trouble (1915, Chaplin)
Under Capricorn (1949, Hitchcock)
Six fois deux (1976, Godard)
Seven women (1966, Ford)

Daniel Kasman said...

Great lists but I wish they picked more contemporary stuff; it's slim pickins I know, but there must be sublime works that are politically and socially conscious made after 1978!

Andy Rector said...

many thanks to André for the additional selections! I am still anxious to hear your thoughts on Costa as curator. Perhaps Ventura's love letter is a bit like the process of 'Sympathy for the Devil' in ONE PLUS ONE (but obviously much stronger than the Rolling Stones song); Ventura being a musician repeating, revising, in multiple articulations, his letter. Perhaps this is perverse. I wonder how SIX FOIS DEUX was screened in Lisboa? On projected Beta tapes or...?

Daniel, thanks for the comment. When S/H were in Vienna, their rejection (but maybe pure reticence) about contemporary cinema raised ire among the audience. Gorin basically agreed, and he works with students and filmmakers everyday. This doesn't mean total defeat, if I believed that I'd give up right now, but on the contrary it helpfully ups the ante among a cluttered landscape. Straub (Huillet laid low and clarified) did not hesitate to hold up Ford next to contemporary filmmakers to show the poverty of contemporary cinema. STAGECOACH therefore is much more experimental than most films today. I know that Straub loves some Otar Iosseliani films, like CHASSE AUX PAPILLONS. If www.notremusique.blogspot.com is to be believed, and I certainly think it can be, Straub saw NE TOUCHEZ PAS LA HACHE, Rivette's latest, and claimed it Rivette's greatest film since LA RELIGIEUSE.
I too am curious what Straub/Huillet would think of, say, Kiarostami, the latest Garrel, or Weerasethakul, and if they would find them ersatz, sloppy or inflated, and why. But you can't fault them for their selections and leanings. Even though cinema is only roughly 100 years old, going back 30, 60, or 90 years to find your main inspiration, to find the force of invention and hope that you find lacking today isn't that big of a deal. Imagine a painter who only spoke of painting after Picasso and knew nothing else, there's no excuse for that. Imagine a painter who knew a lot about painting before Picasso and knew nothing about or rejected painting today: she/he would have many reasons to do so. Having just seen L'ESPOIR, which is on Straub/Huillet's list, I can say there are few war films which come near its range, it's poetic sprawl, and brutality. It makes Eastwood's IWO JIMA feel like a David painting done on velvet. Not that I hated Eastwood's film, but that's another story. Keep in mind too that Straub/Huillet repeated many times something which contradicts our tendency of existence today: that it isn't important to know all of so-called culture but to know only a few works really well and concretely.

André Dias said...

six fois deux was on beta tapes. some people were able to get their hands at a few dvd copies, but not me. i was quite thankful for the screening, nevertheless. still waiting on france/tour/détour/deux/enfants. have you seen both series?...
my thoughts on costa as curator/komissar are still taking some time. i'm really hoping for a tedious summer, or a "post opportunity", to be able to do it...

bruno andrade said...

It's been quite a while now, but I remember readind a quote somewhere (probably on Contracampo) that Straub does not hold Kiarostami's work very highly. In fact, he went on saying that Kiarostami's not really interested in filming "the country" or something like that, and that was a major problem or absence in his body of work or something.

Like I said, it's been a while (at least 5 years), so perhaps there's something I'm forgetting or not remembering right. But I very clearly remember this very negative statement from Straub about Kiarostami's oeuvre.

bruno andrade said...

What I'd really like to know is Straub's or Costa's opinion on Monte Hellman. There's something I'd like to read about.

craig keller. said...

Andy said: "Daniel, thanks for the comment. When S/H were in Vienna, their rejection (but maybe pure reticence) about contemporary cinema raised ire among the audience. Gorin basically agreed, and he works with students and filmmakers everyday."

Either he was simply being provocative, as you note elsewhere, re: ante-upping, etc. -- or he was lying. (Maybe there's not much distinction, and what does it matter anyway.) Gorin champions post-born-in-1906 cinema as much as anyone else who is interested in modern cinema. Otherwise he wouldn't have written those lovely comments for the Criterion Newsletter on ten+ films (some old, some new); spoken at length about Pialat on the 'A nos amours.' DVD; or written the best English-language essay on Scorsese's 'The Departed,' which appeared in Film Comment three or four issues ago.

There is a very specific "aesthetical thing" that the Straubs are into, and that accounts for their choices -- none of which, looking at these lists, I could fault. The world's a very large place.


craig keller. said...

On a different topic (possibly a different aesthetical thing in Straub's eyes, although for me Wiseman exists in parallel with Straub) -- Wiseman's 'State Legislature' airs in the U.S. on PBS on June 13th. Check your local listings.

Andy Rector said...

Bruno, I'm glad you remembered that about Straub on Kiarostami, very interesting. Now that you mention it I think Contracampo had a long interview of S/H up around the time of OPERAI, CONTADINI in which he mentions Kiarostami, Iosseliani, etc.. Straub's objection, if you've remembered correctly, isn't so shocking, its even sensible coming from this man (and woman) who worked so much with the thrush, politics, and time of "the country".

What I've never figured out is Rivette's dismissal of Hou!

Yeah, I wonder about Hellman's impact on them and other filmmakers too. However, am I the only one who found STANLEY'S GIRLFRIEND dismal and overdetermined?

Craig, good to hear from you,
(You said): "Either he was simply being provocative, as you note elsewhere, re: ante-upping, etc. --or he was lying. (Maybe there's not much distinction, and what does it matter anyway.)"

Things matter -- Wiseman's film being aired for example, thanks for the heads-up. Speaking of matter, I see a Wiseman-Straub/Huillet parallel (though I haven't seen much Wiseman).

As for the ante-up/lying parallel, even in a poker game you can't lie about an ante, the other players wouldn't allow it, and money is THE thing that doesn't matter, doesn't have matter. To paraphrase Auden, money is even too full of print to be useful as paper, for writing on.

Among other things Gorin said that "(contemporary)filmmakers aren't talking about the craft"; he tells his students "there's so much shit out there" that making something good shouldn't be that hard; and that in the 70's filmmakers went further and worked harder to keep up with all the great works of that period.

terminal beach said...

Back to the present: you'll be glad to know that Jean Marie is working on a new project... At the end of May (24, 25, 26) the theatre of Buti will host their new "spettacolo teatrale" and after that they'll start shooting.

We are going with Giulio Bursi. If anybody is interested in coming along, drop us a line

silvia & graeme

bruno andrade said...

Yeah, somehow it does not surprise me one bit that Hellman's little feature came out, as far as you describe, "dismal and overdetermined"; I really think that what Hellman needs is an actual comeback, and a challenge at that, like the making of IGUANA was for him, and CHINA 9, LIBERTY 37 was before, and COCKFIGHTER, and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP, and every single thing he shot for Corman at the 60's.

You can take a look at some Rivette's picks at http://jdcopp.blogspot.com/2006/09/jacques-rivette-10-best-films-cahiers_16.html. Some surprises there, including a Hellman.

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merican said...

I that Straub/Huillet like Harmut Bitomsky and Peter Nestler from the contemporaries.