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Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub


Machorka-Muff (1963)

Jean-Marie Straub (born 8 January 1933 in Metz, France) and Danièle Huillet (1 May 1936 in Paris – 9 October 2006 in Cholet) were a duo of filmmakers who made two dozen films between 1963 and 2006. Their films are noted for their rigorous, intellectually stimulating style.

Though both were French, they worked mostly in Germany and Italy.

Jean-Marie Straub met Danièle Huillet as a student in 1954. Straub was involved in the Parisian cinephile community of the time, and was a friend of François Truffaut. Between 1954 and 1958, Straub worked as an assistant to the film directors Robert Bresson, Abel Gance, Jean Renoir, and Jacques Rivette. Straub and Huillet made their first film together, an 18-minute short called Machorka-Muff in 1963; it was based on a story by Heinrich Böll. Their next film, the 55-minute Not Reconciled, was also a Böll adaptation. They did not make a full-length feature until 1968's Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach, after which they made films at a fairly even rate, completing a feature every 2–3 years. In 1968, they also made a short film starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder and his theatre troupe called The Bridegroom, the Actress and the Pimp. During their career, they adapted two Arnold Schoenberg operas, as well as Franz Kafka's first novel, Amerika.

They married in 1959, and the two lived together for most of their lives. They had no children.

Huillet died of cancer in Cholet on 9 October 2006. Straub currently resides in Rome and Paris.