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March 12, 2017

These screenings were originally part of Not Reconciled. The Cinema of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet and had to be rescheduled.    


Sunday March 12 at 5pm

Sicilia!

Directed by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub. With Gianni Buscarino, Vittorio Vigneri, Angela Nugara
Italy 1998, 35mm, b/w, 66 min. Italian with English subtitles

Something as simple as a herring roasting on a hearth, or a meal of bread, wine and winter melon, takes on the humble aura of a Caravaggio painting in this masterful film. That is to say, Straub-Huillet extol ordinary Sicilians who are poor of means but rich in spirit. Filmed in Syracuse and Messina, Sicilia! is a tragicomedy involving an orange peddler, an Italian recently returned from America, two “stinky” police officers, a guilt-stricken landowner, a traveling knife sharpener and, perhaps most unforgettably, an indomitable peasant mother who reminisces about meals of snails and wild chicory, her husband’s philandering and cowardice, and her own father’s belief in an honest day’s labor, socialism, and St. Joseph.

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Sunday March 12 at 7pm

Where Does Your Hidden Smile Lie? (Où gît votre sourire enfoui?)

Directed by Pedro Costa
France/Portugal 2001, 35mm, b/w & color, 104 min. Italian & French with English subtitles

This film portrait presents an extraordinary look into the creative process of filmmaking through a case study of longtime collaborators Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, who are carefully observed at work reediting their recent feature Sicilia! as they teach a group of students at the National Studio of Contemporary Arts in Tourcoing. Costa meticulously records the dialectic, argumentative mode the filmmakers use to reach decisions about each cut. In a remarkable sequence, the two filmmakers have a standoff in virtual darkness (Huillet having switched off the Moviola that provides much of the illumination for Costa’s shooting). Equally compelling is the documentation of Straub’s close commentary on techniques from such diverse influences as Chaplin and Eisenstein. This remarkable documentary, an episode from the landmark series “Cinema of our Time,” is a brilliant examination of the art of editing and a meditation on the aesthetic and political implications of film technique. Print courtesy Cinemateca Portuguesa.

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