* for Danièle!

A photo series consisting of four pictures of a brunette woman © Jean-Paul Toraille

Sat, 08.10.2022

2:00 PM BST

Goethe-Institut London

Book Launch, Film Programme, Text Montage dedicated to Danièle Huillet

It’s a detail, but …. there are no details. (Danièle Huillet)

In 2017, Berlin saw a major exhibition and retrospective dedicated to the films by Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. Two years later, in 2019, the Goethe-Institut London embarked on a three-month retrospective of their work together with various London partners. It therefore with great pleasure that we welcome Annett Busch, co-curator of the Berlin project, for the launch of the publication Tell it to the Stones that evolved out of the Berlin events and which Annett Busch edited together with Tobias Hering. The presentation of this comprehensive and polyphonic essay compilation provides the occasion and the bracket for a (re-) encounter with the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, to whom this programme is especially dedicated.

In public appearances, Danièle Huillet often left the stage to Jean-Marie Straub. She usually only spoke with short, concise, humorous and insistent interjections and corrections. She always understood her work as part of a joint effort (with Straub, but also in and with the respective film team).
This programme, compiled of films and readings, is meant to provide an opportunity to see and understand to what extent and with what degree of versatility she composed, orchestrated and shaped their joint work. From the transcript to the definition of the light in the laboratory, from the guidance of the technicians, the vocal practice with the actors to the translation of the subtitles, as producer and as editor – she did all this as part of a way of working that was as generous as it was luxurious, that allowed every single step of their work to claim the time it needed. Through a montage of material, comprising text excerpts and films, and through her voice and physical presence in the films, the many facets and layers of her work will emerge.

Curated by Annett Busch in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut London.

Book Tickets Through Eventbrite


Please note: The programme is conceived as a whole. If you cannot come to the whole programme, please arrive at the indicated start times of the individual sections.

14:00 – 15:00: Film Screening and Book Launch 

Jean-Marie Straub & Danìele Huillet: The Wayfarer, Italy/France, 2001, DCP (35 mm), B&W, 5 min. Italian with English subtitles.
Opening with the dedication “* for Danièle!”, this is one of several alternatives takes from Sicilia!

Jean-Marie Straub & Danìele Huillet: Every Revolution is a Throw of the Dice, France, 1977, DCP (35mm), colour, 10 min. French with English subtitles.
Titled after a line by French historian Jules Michelet about the Paris Commune, the film shows a group of men and women, including Danièle Huillet, reciting Stéphane Mallarmé’s poem “A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance” (1897) in the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris.

Tell it to the Stones, Sternberg Press, 2021
Tell It to the Stones presents artistic and intellectual responses to Huillet and Straub’s filmmaking methods and body of work. The book stems from a prolonged public program presented at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, consisting of concerts, public conferences, a three-month exhibition, and a complete cinema retrospective. Contributing artists, scholars, filmmakers, and writers, some of whom were long-time collaborators of Straub and Huillet, as well as younger artists and writers from various disciplines call upon this collective experience in new texts, revised transcripts, conceptual essays, and visual montages—taking seriously what Huillet once requested from the audience: “to help us build the in-between.”


15:00 – 16:30: Film screening

Jean-Marie Straub & Danìele Huillet: Sicilia!, Italy/France 1999, DCP (35mm), B&W, 66 min. Italian with English subtitles.
Adapted from Elio Vittorini’s anti-fascist novel Conversations in Sicily (1939), the film focuses on a dialogue between Silvestro, who, after many years, has returned to Sicily from the North, and his mother.

Pedro Costa: 6 Bagatelles, Portugal/France, 2003, colour, digital, (MiniDV), 18 min. French with English subtitles.
Pedro Costa assembles unused takes of his 2001 documentary Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie?, in which Straub and Huillet are seen editing Sicilia!, and shifts our attention in new directions.  


17:00 – 18:00: Reading & Film Screening

Jean-Paul Toraille: Les Avatars de la Mort d'Empédocle, France, 2010, digital (video, digi-beta), colour, 53 min., in French. (It is not necessary to speak French to understand this film and it will be combined with readings in English.)
The film captures the atmosphere of joy and concentrated work during the shoot of The Death of Empedocles in Sicily in 1996 and we catch a glimpse of Danièle Huillet at work.


18:15 – 19:15: Reading & Film Screening

Jean-Marie Straub & Danìele Huillet: Cézanne. Conversation with Joachim Gasquet [Bernheim-Jeune Editions]), France/West Germany, 1989, DCP (35mm), colour, 51 min. In French with English subtitles.
We hear Danièle Huillet reading from Joachim Gasquet’s 1921 memoir of his friendship with Paul Cézanne that forms the basis of this film, which is founded on Straub and Huillet’s admiration for the painter’s practice and ethos.

Annett Busch is a freelance curator, editor, writer, and translator. Her interest in radical forms of filmmaking and film criticism has led to her thinking of and in juxtapositions. Examples of this approach are her co-curating “Tell It to the Stones: The Work of J. M. Straub and D. Huillet” (2017, with Tobias Hering), her co-editing Ousmane Sembène: Interviews (2008, with Max Annas) and Frieda Grafe: 30 Filme (2013, with Max Annas and Henriette Gunkel). Her focus has also been on audacious female artists, administrators, philosophers, and fighters, as reflected in her co-curating “Women on Aeroplanes” (since 2017, with MH Gutberlet and Magda Lipska), and co-editing the accompanying Inflight Magazine. She has also looked at catalyzing historical moments and their hangovers, as in the volume and exhibition “After Year Zero” (with Anselm Franke); and focused on the politics and cultures of magazine production, as in Electronic Textures (with Kodwo Eshun and Michael C. Vazquez, among others).