Friday, August 24, 2007
Europa 2005 - 27 Octobre
"an unsigned cinetract ... the first of a series commissioned by Enrico Ghezzi for Fuori Orario (a legendary mavericks-and-visionaries-only Italian TV show) to celebrate Roberto Rossellini’s centenary. Asked to imagine a moment in the life or the death of Ingrid Bergman’s character in Europa ‘51 (1952), their reading of Rossellini yielded a video-ugly pamphlet—as subtle as a knee to the groin—mourning the death of two Parisian youngsters who, chased by the police, hid in a high-voltage electric transformer and burned to death. A little later, the banlieus were burning. The film is like nothing else in Huillet and Straub’s oeuvre since Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematic Scene (1972), their tract on Modernism and collaborationism, WWII and Vietnam, the Old World, the New World, and the Third World.
"Only 12 minutes long, Europa 2005 - 27 Octobre is obviously an incidental work, but it’s nevertheless/therefore important, for it reminds us that Huillet and Straub are political artists who recurrently tackled very real, precise, and timely political subjects, something too many of their self-appointed acolytes couldn’t be bothered with. And even if Straub’s overly judgmental musings get on one’s nerves, they’re still preferable to the docile, “understanding” silences or demagogic ravings which make up the present style of political non-discussions: with Huillet and Straub one can at least fight. They possess unquiet hearts and minds, unreconciled, unconsoled, hopeful. They care."