Dalla nube alla resistenza - Straub-Huillet, 1979, 35mm
Mark Fisher has written on Straub-Huillet for the new issue of Film Quarterly. The article isn't available online, but I've uploaded a pdf here. The following extract is particularly of note:
There is another example of a Straubian shot [in Sicilia!]: at one point during the railway carriage scene, the camera leaves the characters on the train to show instead the apparently empty landscape outside for several minutes. I say 'apparently' because it is important to question our unreflective assumption that such spaces are indeed empty. Deleuze maintains in Cinema II that, in Straub–Huillet’s films, an 'empty space, without characters [...] has a fullness in which there is nothing missing' (p.245). One has to learn to see such 'fullness,' which is not likely to be perceived by the casual viewer, who is more likely to find the Straubian shots frustrating and boring. How is Deleuze’s idea of fullness to be understood in this context? It is worth noting that Deleuze sees geology as continuous with politics. The idea of social 'stratification' is not just a vague metaphor in Deleuze’s work, but rather an expression of the way in which both human populations and the earth are shaped by vast impersonal processes. The unpeopled is therefore not the same as the empty.