A man reading aloud from a book may be for some the end of cinema, but in Straub and Huillet’s hands it represents a beginning. Their aesthetic of spoken word plus projected image was boiled to its essence in 1976’s Fortini/Cani, a cine-essay that features the legendary Italian New Left figure Franco Fortini, who fought with the Italian antifascist resistance during World War II. Fortini reflects on his communist past and complicated Jewish identity, while the image captures an idyllic Italian countryside where, years earlier, partisans were massacred by Nazi soldiers. Few films are as minimal, yet as rich, as this.
Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet, Germany, France, 1994
Tales set during the German occupation of Alsace-Lorraine between 1870 and 1918.