Distance(s) #14

Einleitung zu Arnold Schönbergs Begleitmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene - Straub-Huillet, 1972, 16mm

Où gît votre sourire enfoui? - Pedro Costa, 2001, digital video


Peranson: Does [Straub] still want all of his films to be destroyed after his death?

Costa: It depends on his mood. I don't think so. They're the only filmmakers in the world that consider every shot that they have done as something done with pride and honour. Not even Godard can say that. And there is no second in one movie of theirs that they'd change. Straub told me his final testament that he wants on his grave, a quote from Hyperion by Hölderlin, which has something to do with going into oblivion, but leaving a very strong trace in the world.

Peranson: Which is an odd thing for a materialist to say.

Costa: Well, he said a very nice thing to me about that. Once he was teaching a film course in Germany, and he was talking about Moses und Aron [1974], and he said God three or four times in a lecture, and he saw some students were smiling, almost laughing. And he asked them, "Why are you laughing? If you laugh when you hear the word God, then you'll never make a film." And that proves to me that to be a materialist you have to be a mystic in the beginning... or the end.

--Pedro Costa, interviewed by Mark Peranson, Cinema Scope 27, 2006, p.15.

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