Dialogue d’ombres

← Part of the Collection: Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub
Dialogue d’ombres

A man, a woman, or their shadows, speak: of love, of what makes it possible or impossible, of the weight of the past. Their words mingle in a strange dialogue, which raises the tension to the extreme.


“Much of the discourse on Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub's films has focused on their use of natural landscapes. They themselves have encouraged their viewers to let their eyes wander, to be drawn to the trees, the water, the earth, the clouds, the light.

When I look at their landscapes, I get the feeling that they would lose much of their power and beauty had they been more picturesque, more beautiful in the classical sense. By avoiding the idealized and romantically beautiful, Huillet and Straub insist on their landscapes as concrete and necessary. They mean it when they say that the people in their films are not more important than the landscape in which they stand. This can be seen, quite literally, in Straub’s Dialogue d’ombres, where Cornelia Geiser and Bertrand Brouder each occupy a good tenth of the frame, and nature the rest.

In the final shot of the film, we see the two actors sitting next to each other, brought together in the same image, in contrast to the separate images they have occupied up until this point. But the true miracle of the film comes when you look at the landscape behind the actors and recognize the trees, the water, the earth, the clouds, the light, and you realize that they have been sitting side by side all along, so close that they could reach out and touch each other. Brought together by the landscape.”

Morten Lindqvist1

  • 1Morten Lindqvist, “Dialogue d’ombres,” Balthazar, 2023.
UPDATED ON 10.01.2024
IMDB: tt3640230