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A Straub-Huillet Companion: “Too Early, Too Late”

A Straub-Huillet Companion is a series of short essays on the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet, subject of a Mubi retrospective. Straub-Huillet's Too Early, Too Late (1982) is showing on Mubi from August 6 – September 4, 2019.If there is an actor in Too Early, Too Late, it is the landscape. This actor has a text to recite: History, of which it is the living witness. The actor performs with a certain amount of talent: the cloud that passes, a breaking loose of birds, a bouquet of trees bent by the wind, a break in the clouds; this is what the landscape’s performance consists of. This kind of performing is meteorological. One hasn’t seen anything like it for quite some time. Since the silent period, to be precise.—Serge Daney, Cinemeteorology, Libération, 1982In Straub-Huillet films, humans stand erect and impassive like statues, possessed by the spirits of the past. The

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