Sad news

It hasn't hit the newspapers yet as far as I can tell, but the film blog world is full of the news that Daniele Huillet died earlier this week. Huillet was one-half -- the much neglected half in film journalism -- of a brilliant partnership with her husband and co-director/writer Jean-Marie Straub. Their films were difficult, occasionally annoying, but always provocative in the best sense, highly intelligent and breathtakingly conceived. There are few more incisive meditations on the nature of political power than History Lessons or Othon, no Kafka adaptation so skillful as Class Relations, no opera film as rigorous and beautiful as Moses and Aaron, no biopic as insightful on the relationship between creator and creation as The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach. When the rest of the film world was retreating from political concerns, Huillet and Straub soldiered on. There really is no one else in cinema quite like them, and Huillet will be missed. For more on her work, check out the excellent pieces by Andy Rector and Doug Cummings, and Barton Byg's excellent book, Landscapes of Resistance, all of which are available on line. (Many thanks to Ira Hozinsky for passing along the news and these links.)

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