O somma luce

← Part of the Collection: Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub
O somma luce
Oh Supreme Light

The last song of "Paradise" of the Divine Comedy of Dante. The film is preceded by Corneille-Brecht or Rome, the only object of my resentment, taken from Horace and Othon by Corneille and das Verhoer from Lukulus, a radio play by Brecht.


“The first half of O somma luce consists of an Edgar Varèse piece and a black screen. The second half is in color, with a man facing the world and reciting Dante's The Divine Comedy. I saw it in a cinema with 500 seats in a shopping mall in Buenos Aires. Earlier that day, I had met two teenage girls on a rooftop terrace, one silent and shy, the other curious and talkative. Both had a well-used skateboard tucked under the straps of their backpacks. When the lights in the cinema came on after the film, I realized that they were once again sitting right next to me. When asked what they thought of the film, they replied in unison that it was "true punk". The tickets were almost free, and the theater was packed. A few days later, I met the Viennale director Hans Hurch in a tavern. He had helped the Huillet-Straub couple make some of their films when he was young. We talked about the difference between the couple's films shot on 16mm, 35mm and video. He had already seen Straub's new, semi-imageless film several times.

Each member of the audience forms their own personal experience, but at the same time, every film has a core that is unchanging from one viewer to the next.”

Mads K. Mikkelsen1

  • 1Mads K. Mikkelsen, "O somma luce,” Balthazar, 2023.
UPDATED ON 10.01.2024
IMDB: tt1720181