In conjunction with the Spanish Film Library, the Reina Sofía Museum has programmed this comprehensive cinematographic cycle focusing on the marriage of the French filmmakers which gave rise to one of the most relevant film projects of the 20th century, with major contributions to the aesthetic and political debates of their time.
The films that form part of this retrospective date from 1962 to the present day. As an innovative thing, they include new translations of the vast majority of the films, original format screenings, re-mastered copies, a significant number of premieres in Spain, and a new publication featuring essays on the filmmakers.
Straub and Huillet made an impact on film and contemporary art with their creations. Standing out for their asceticism, rigour and intellectual style, their early films were produced between Germany, Italy and France, characterising a filmography shot in three countries and in different languages and which raises a profound reflection on history, identity and European borders.
The poetics of their work adheres to the technical origins of film, whilst establishing a new relationship with the world’s sounds and images. Their work is a return to the origins of film, transforming it into a new art, based on artistic works rather than scripts, that were put on the big screen, appropriating them and placing them in the present to serve as a liberating tool for their new audiences. In their films, their texts, works and images form part of a sequence that describes a revolutionary pedagogy of culture and history throughout time.
Following the death of Danièle Huillet in 2006, Jean-Marie Straub works alone and upholds the poetics of film, such as rupture and revelation. His recent films, some of which will be shown in Spain for the first time thanks to this cycle, demonstrate social conflicts, citizen repression or the violence of power, and continue to explore the limits of representation on a political and artistic level.
Jean-Marie Straub. Kommunisten. Film, 2014