‘A metaphorically abstract dream, not a story’, is how Jean-Marie Straub described his and Danièle Huillet’s first film made in West Germany, Machorka Muff
. The film presents the dreamlike reflections of the former Nazi major and newly promoted general Erich von Machorka-Muff, who comes to the West German capital Bonn to see his lover and to lay the foundation of the ‘Academy of Military Memories’. A scathing criticism of West Germany’s remilitarisation and the persistence of Nazi ideology and personnel after the war.
The same theme was pursued in Huillet and Straub’s first feature, Not Reconciled…
, based on a novel by Heinrich Böll: Billiards at Half Past Nine
(1959) that chronicles three generations of a bourgeois German family of architects from the 1910s through the Nazi era to the economic ‘miracle’ of postwar Germany. The filmmakers treat Böll’s narrative as a document, stripping it of any anecdotal or psychological elements. They accumulate evidence and achieve historical concreteness in order to reveal the continuity of the violence of the past in the present and to provide a cinematographic, moral and political reflection on the last fifty years of German life.'
The screening will be introduced by Laura Mulvey.
, Dirs: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, West Germany, 1962, 35mm/DCP, b&w, 18 min., in German with English subtitles
Nicht versöhnt oder Es hilft nur Gewalt, wo Gewalt herrscht
, Not Reconciled or Only Violence Helps Where Violence Rules, Dirs: Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, West Germany, 1965, 35mm/DCP, b&w, 52 min. in German with English subtitles.
Presented as part of The Films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet