History Lessons | Chicago Reader

History Lessons

One of the most beautiful and difficult of Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet's features, this 1972 filming of portions of Bertolt Brecht's novel The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar is a major early summary of this masterful filmmaking couple's grasp of history and the material world. A young man in contemporary dress drives through contemporary Rome and interviews characters from ancient Rome—a poet, a jurist, a peasant, and a banker. Straub-Huillet's unorthodox handling of space through editing is like no one else's, and the duo's passionate adherence to direct-sound recording is comparably powerful.

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