À propos de Venise (Geschichtsunterricht)

← Part of the Collection: Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub
À propos de Venise (Geschichtsunterricht)

Glory and collapse of the great Republic of Venice. The reasons are multiple, complex, human and too human. Are these the same ingredients, whose mix will decide whether or not and under what conditions does Europe survive today?


“In March 2013, the Venice Mostra asked Jean-Marie to contribute to the omnibus film Venezia 70: Future Reloaded, which celebrated the festival's 70th anniversary. J-M sent me a sheet of collage paper with an excerpt of Maurice Barres' "La mort de Venise" and asked me to film it.

I don't know if the idea to make À propos de Venise, a film based on the same text, came from that project but later that year, in the beginning of August, Barbara (Ulrich) sent me another excerpt from the text, saying that Jean-Marie would like to make a film in early September. Ultimately, the shooting took place in October, only a couple of meters from Barbara and Jean-Marie's home in Rolle, overlooking Lake Geneva, which became a substitute for the Venetian Lagoon.

Shooting took three days: the afternoons of October 12th, 13th, and 14th, We were a small crew: Dimitri Haulet on sound, Arnaud Dommerc worked as an assistant (and as the French coproducer through his company Andolfi). Speaking of production, this film, like so many of the late Jean-Marie shorts, was mainly self-produced by Barbara through her company Belva Film (entirely dedicated to Jean-Marie's work).

Without any lighting except for the sun, the main assignment for me was to adjust the exposure and color temperature so that the image would not be overexposed during shooting. Among the films I have made with Jean-Marie, it is one of my favorites in terms of its imagery. It did not even require any color grading. I don't remember how long the editing took, but surely less than five days. Since the structure of the film was already in place, the editing work focused entirely on the film's musicality/ rhythm (i.e., how much time we allowed there to be before and after the text was read out). There were about ten takes per shot except for shot 11, which we did 21 takes for. During editing, we mostly kept the last take of each shot.”

Christophe Clavert1

  • 1Christophe Clavert, "Concerning Venise (History Lessons)," Balthazar, 2023.
UPDATED ON 10.01.2024
IMDB: tt3907352