Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet

"The collaborative team of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet (they married in 1959) made films that are among the most austere and politically radical in the history of cinema. This means that their work is virtually unknown outside the festival circuit, the one exception being The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1968)." - Roger Bardon (The Rough Guide to Film, 2007)

Jean-Marie Straub & Danièle Huillet

Director / Editor / Screenwriter / Producer / Cinematographer
STRAUB (1933- ) Born January 8, Metz, Moselle, Lorraine, France; HUILLET (1936-2006) Born May 1, Paris, France
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: France, Italy, West Germany, Germany
Key Genres: Drama, Documentary, Short Films
Key Collaborators: Renato Berta (Cinematographer), William Lubtchansky (Cinematographer), Martine Marignac (Producer), Angela Nugara (Leading Actress), Jean-Paul Toraille (Cinematographer), Giovanni Canfarelli Modica (Cinematographer), Vittorio Vigneri (Leading Character Actor), Olimpia Carlisi (Leading Actress), Klaus Hellwig (Producer), Ugo Piccone (Cinematographer), Saverio Diamante (Cinematographer), Marion Befve (Cinematographer)

"Straub is an extreme, austere exponent of minimalist cinema. His work is an attempt to clarify the nature of his medium, and no task is as likely to unsettle or offend people who consider themselves familiar with the medium... His austerity may leave gaps in his output, and the films themselves will usually be hard to find. But no one seriously interested in film should neglect them or the theoretical issues that attend them." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"Straub began directing in the early 60s and soon became recognized as a leading voice in the New German Cinema. His style is typically sparse, minimal, elliptical, and austere. His wife, Danièle Huillet, collaborates on his films as producer and writer." - The MacMillan International Film Encyclopedia, 1994
"The films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet are best understood in the context of contemporary developments in radical, materialist cinema. They offer what many people see as a genuine alternative to both dominant narrative cinema and conventional art movies. Their work is formally austere and demands attentive, intellectual participation from audiences. However, it must be acknowledged that many people find their films nearly impenetrable and absolutely boring." - M.B. White (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Straub's films deal with social issues, the process of film-making, and the artist's relation to his material. His works are essays on subjects, as are Godard's. For the most part, Straub's productions are cold and distant although not necessarily unemotional." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
"In short, Straub's demanding but intellectually rewarding cinema rigorously rejects the illusionism favoured by mainstream cinema." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)
"One of the key figures of the New German Cinema, Jean-Marie Straub worked most of his life with his wife and artistic partner, Danièle Huillet… Straub and Huillet's films offer the audience a transcendent and clarifying experience, and are deeply admired internationally for their purity, clarity, and sincerity of purpose." - Wheeler Winston Dixon (501 Movie Directors, 2007)
"Straub and his wife Danièle Huillet, with whom he works in close collaboration, are exponents of 'minimalist' film-making. Their films are austere in the extreme and are not easy to comprehend by those who see the cinema existing only in the terms laid down by orthodox narrative films. Straub's films are nevertheless highly organized in their use of sound and image, and are as much about the processes of film-making as they are about their ostensible subjects; consequently they can seem tedious to those who seek entertainment, and offensive to audiences who wish to see the conventional aspects of storytelling on screen." - The Illustrated Who's Who of the Cinema, 1983
"Born in France, they worked in Germany during the 1960s and in Italy thereafter. Though they shared screen credit, with Huillet's name coming first, many critics referred to their work solely as Straub's - a sign of the necessity for greater recognition of women's contribution to cinema. Their first feature-length film, Chronik der Anna Magdalena Bach (1968) addressed the historical subject of a male artist, the eighteenth-century composer Johann Sebastian Bach, through the consciousness of his wife." - Robert Sklar (Film: An International History of the Medium, 1993)
TSPDT Guide
Recommended
Othon (1970), Sicilia! (1999)
Worth a Look
Not Reconciled^ (1965) , The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach^ (1968) , History Lessons (1972), Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg's Accompaniment to a Cinematic Scene^ (1973), Moses and Aaron (1975), Fortini/Cani (1977), From the Clouds to the Resistance (1979) , Too Early, Too Late (1981) , Class Relations (1983), The Death of Empedocles (1987), Cezanne (1988), Antigone (1992), Operai, contadini (2001), A Visit to the Louvre (2004), Quei loro incontri (2006) , Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (2008), Artemis' Knee^ (2008)
Approach with Caution
The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (1968)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmographies: Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films
^ Directed by Jean-Marie Straub only
Jean-Marie Straub / Favourite Films
City Lights (1931) Charles Chaplin, Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne (1945) Robert Bresson, Diary of a Country Priest (1950) Robert Bresson, Gertrud (1964) Carl Theodor Dreyer, Lady Windermere's Fan (1925) Ernst Lubitsch, A Man Escaped (1956) Robert Bresson, Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Charles Chaplin, La Nuit du carrefour (1932) Jean Renoir.
Source: Grasshopper Films (2016)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach
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