En rachâchant. 1982. France. Written and directed by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet. Based on “Ah! Ernesto!,” by Marguerite Duras. With Olivier Straub, Nadette Thinus, Bernard Thinus, Raymond Gérard. 35mm. In French; English subtitles. 7 min.
Beneath the subversive comedy of Marguerite Duras’ 1971 short story “Ah! Ernesto!,” about a precocious and determined nine-year-old boy, lies a terse and tough rejection of all forms of authority, whether family, school, or nation. En rachâchant was released in France on a double bill with Eric Rohmer’s Pauline at the Beach.
Dalla nube alla resistenza (From the Cloud to the Resistance). 1978. Italy/West Germany. Written and directed by Jean-Marie Straub, Danièle Huillet. Based on Dialogues with Leucò and The Moon and the Bonfires, by Cesare Pavese. With Olimpia Carlisi, Mauro Monni, Carmelo Lacorte, Mario di Mattia. In Italian; English subtitles. 105 min.
Straub-Huillet’s From the Cloud… bridges history and myth, and modernity and antiquity. Based on six mythological encounters in Cesar Pavese’s Dialogues with Leucò, and on Pavese’s last novel, The Moon and the Bonfires, about the savage murders of Italian anti-Fascist resistance fighters during World War II, the film has affinities with History Lessons, Too Early/Too Late, and a series of films of the 2000s in which they returned to Pavese’s Dialogues.