Archive Fever! 4.0 – Straub/Huillet: Too Early, Too Late
This is a film about landscapes — landscapes recorded with a Lumiere-like precision and clarity. Divided into two parts, the first juxtaposes present-day views of French villages with Friedrich Engels’ descriptions of the same locales at the time of the 1792 Commune; the second shifts to Egyptian scenes, accompanied by a recent Marxist history of the country’s resistance to colonialism.
The simplest and most accessible of Straub’s films, Marchorka-Muff is an admirably concise satirical attack on West Germany’s rearmament and revival of militaristic tradition in the Adenauer era: it takes the form of a character portrait of a former Nazi officer working his way back to society, and official good standing. Based freely on a story by Heinrich Böll.