Films & Schedules

    (Films by Nathaniel Dorsky and Jean-Marie Straub)


Nathaniel Dorsky
USA, 2007/Silent
22 minutes
/Colour/16mm, 18fps


Nathaniel Dorsky
USA, 2008/Silent
15 minutes
/Colour/16mm, 18fps

Le Genou d’Artémide

Il Ginocchio di Artemide

Jean-Marie Straub
Italy/France, 2007/Italian
26 minutes

Friday September 0506:30PM JACKMAN HALL - AGO Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

“Nature has ten million times the imagination of the most imaginative of artists.” – Jean-Marie Straub 

This year Wavelengths begins with a programme of avant-garde masters. Though working in completely different registers, Nathaniel Dorsky and Jean-Marie Straub (with his collaborator Danièle Huillet) have both radically influenced the way films are made, viewed and appreciated. 

Dorsky’s latest pair of films, Sarabande and Winter, are part of a new triptych titled Three Songs. Those familiar with Dorsky’s four-decade œuvre will appreciate that while his work stems from reality, it also partakes in a deeper, more wondrous realm – one that transcends words and physicality with remarkable grace. 

One of the most gifted 16mm filmmakers of our time, Dorsky is known for camera work that is precise and insightful, guiding us with a vision of the world that is electrified by its possibilities. His films are both silent and projected at silent speed, allowing for what he terms an unimpeded experience of “the flickering threshold of cinema’s illusion.” His films offer visual symmetries, searing colour, and a sense of pure, unequivocal delight at celestial movement (Sarabande) and an earth-bound existence (Winter). 

Internationally celebrated French duo Straub and Huillet have given us some of the most beautiful, enduring works of post-war cinema. Le Genou d’Artémide, the first work Straub completed after Huillet’s death in October of 2006, resumes their interest in the poetry of Cesare Pavese. 

A sequel of sorts to 2006’s Quei Loro Incontri, this new work is an adaptation of Pavese’s “The Wild Beast” (“La Belva”), which is the sixth conversation in the collection Dialogues with Leuco (1947). Reuniting actors from the Teatro comunale di Butti and told in typical Straubian style, the film is a heart-wrenching tale of the insoluble gap between mortals and gods. But the search into the forest, amid the tentacles of leaves waiting to engulf us mere mortals, indicates a more personal revision to the mythological dialogue. Filled with dappling sun and crafted with Straub’s implacable rigour, Le Genou d’Artémide is a poignant work that resonates long after its final image. The film is bookended by Gustav Mahler and Heinrich Schütz. 

Andréa Picard 

Nathaniel Dorsky’s credits include Pneuma (76-82), Hours for Jerome (80-82), Alaya (76-87), Triste (74-96), Variations (92-98), Arbor Vitae (00), Love’s Refrain (01), The Visitation (02), Threnody (04), Song and Solitude (06), Sarabande (08) and Winter (08). 

Jean-Marie Straub was born in Metz, France. He worked collaboratively with his partner Danièle Huillet until her death in 2006. Their films include Not Reconciled (65), Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (68), Moses and Aaron (74), The Death of Empedocles (87), Sicilia! (99), Quei Loro Incontri (06) Europa 2005, 27 Octobre (07) and L’Itinéraire de Jean Bricard (08), which screened at the Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival this year alongside Le Genou d’Artémide (08), his first film since Huillet’s passing.

Cadillac People's Choice Award