Jean-Marie Straub et Danièle Huillet
Born in 1933 in Metz (France)
Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet met in Paris in 1954. Their entourage, made up of renowned filmmakers such as Robert Bresson and Jacques Rivette, encouraged them to realise their projects. In 1958, Jean-Marie Straub refused to fight in Algeria and deserted to Germany, where the couple made their first short film, Machorka-Muff, in 1962. They went on to become leading figures in the new German cinema (notably alongside Rainer Werner Fassbinder) and in what came to be known as modern cinema. Attached to their independence, the couple described themselves as "craftsmen of the cinema", working in a modest economy to better pursue their aesthetic research and assert their political positions. They operated a strict division of labour on their shoots, with Danièle Huillet in charge of production, costumes, sound, texts and editing, while Jean-Marie Straub was responsible for the camerawork and directing the actors, who were often non-professionals. Their joint filmography, comprising fourteen feature-length films and sixteen shorts, has constantly revisited the works of the great European artists, both in literature (Brecht, Duras, Pavese, Kafka) and in music (Bach, Schoenberg). After Danièle Huillet's death in 2006, Jean-Marie Straub continued this work on his own, making several films in digital format, persisting in his denunciation of all the violence of the twentieth century and today.