News from the Locarno Festival

Kommunisten in Locarno

Kommunisten in Locarno



A work-print of Jean-Marie Straub’s new film will be screened in the section Fuori concorso on August 15 (Teatro Kursaal) at 11h30.  

Below is an introduction to the film by its producer. 

At 81, Jean-Marie once again intends to be inventive and to surprise. It’s no small thing to imagine this film in its political and moral scope. Nor to see in it the challenges involved in its making, and proof of inventiveness.

For here it is not a matter of Jean-Marie Straub indulging in self-quotation, in an improbable narcissism – everyone knows how foreign that would be to him. It’s not about leaving a legacy, playing to the gallery via an emotional appeal that would be far too easy to achieve in the case of such a major 20th century filmmaker.

No, the challenge that Jean-Marie Straub offers both us and himself, is of a cinematic order. His films have all and always been comprised of blocks. And these blocks that crash into one another, blocks that are dense with texts, landscapes and faces, have always needed to show, through these collisions, that which is invisible in terms of feelings and politics.

Jean Marie Straub pushes this musicality of blocks to a paroxysmal extreme, mixing blocks of time (40 years separate the various extracts that are going to be used, and what is to be filmed), blocks of text (Malraux, Fortini, Vittorini, Holderlin) and blocks of language (French, Italian, German), and from this ruckus emerges the history of the world, yes, History with a capital H, and from the same movement, the political hope of its being overtaken.

So this is an adventure film, about the Human adventure, still one that is always, in the end, overtaken by Nature.

In this project, everything that has been fundamental to Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet’s filmmaking for fifty years finds a form that is newly raw.

I hope that you will be able to feel and find joy in this renewed strength.


Arnaud Dommerc

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