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Too Early, Too Late

Posted by martinteller on January 25, 2011

Oh joy, another unbearably dull experiment from Jean-Marie Straub and partner-in-tedium Danièle Huillet.  Once the novelty of the juxtaposition between the narration and the image wears off (which takes about 10 minutes), I was left with the same feeling I had from Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach — that this doesn’t need to be a film.  I’ve read Jonathan Rosenbaum’s comments about this film (he is exceedingly effusive about it) and while I certainly don’t have the criticism chops to dispute any of them, I’ll just say I was not as enraptured as he was.  Is it original?  Sure, and I’ll give it credit for that.  But beyond the basic thrust of the concept, I don’t feel like it sufficiently exploits cinema as a medium.  Distribute a pamphlet instead.  The Soviets made incredibly exciting, entertaining movies about revolution because they were trying to sell it to the people.  Straub and Huillet’s navel-gazing piece apparently is only interested in preaching to the converted (and the exceptionally tolerant converted at that).  Leave it to the French to make revolution so fucking boring.  Rating: 3


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