Double feature and discussion: Straub-Huillet and Matías Piñeiro

Double feature and discussion: Straub-Huillet and Matías Piñeiro

Matías Piñeiro, Isabella (still), 2020.

Aesthetics of Resistance

Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

Double feature and discussion: Straub-Huillet and Matías Piñeiro

​Admission starts at $5
Valid for either or both screenings at 6pm and 8pm

December 1, 2022, 6pm and 8pm
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, December 1 for a double feature screening of Straub-Huillet’s Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times, or, Perhaps One Day Rome Will Allow Herself to Choose in Her Turn​ (1969, 88 minutes) at 6pm, and Matías Piñeiro’s Isabella (2020, 80 minutes) at 8pm, followed by a discussion with Piñeiro.

This two-session screening constitutes the opening event of “In the Present, the Scripted Past Is Performed,” the first chapter of the four-part series Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art taking place at e-flux Screening Room in monthly chapters between December 2022 and March 2023. Read more on the series here.

Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art is produced and organized by e-flux, with the support of the German Film Office, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films.

Session One: 6pm
Straub-Huillet, Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times, or, Perhaps One Day Rome Will Allow Herself to Choose in Her Turn​
1969, 88 minutes
The first film that Straub-Huillet shot together in Italy (on the Palatine Hill of Rome) and also the first they made in color, Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times… is a faithful adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s Othon, the classic tragedy that premiered at the court of Louis XIV at Fontainebleau in 1664 and today is more hallowed than actually performed. The film depicts the power vacuum that followed Emperor Nero’s death: Against a crowd of obsequious and scheming pretenders to the throne, Corneille has Camille as his epic heroine, the mother of all conscientious objectors. With the play, the film examines the process by which events enter our cultural mainstream, and the process by which their use as part of a communications system is transformed into culture.

Session Two: 8pm
Matías Piñeiro, Isabella

2020, 80 minutes
Followed by a discussion with the filmmaker
Mariel (María Villar) longs to play the role of Isabella in a local theater troupe’s production of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, but money problems prevent her from preparing for the audition. She thinks of asking her brother for financial help, but is worried about being too direct. Her solution is to ask her brother’s girlfriend, Luciana (Agustina Muñoz), also an actress and a more self-assured one, to convince her brother to give her the money. Luciana agrees on the condition that Mariel will not abandon her acting and continue to prepare for the part of Isabella. The latest in Matías Piñeiro’s series of films inspired by the women of Shakespeare’s comedies is his most structurally daring and visually stunning work to date. Through their rich and layered performances, Muñoz and Villar demonstrate a profound intimacy formed over more than a decade of collaboration with the director. Isabella is a film about the ongoing battle between doubt and ambition that never discounts the possibility of a new beginning. 

For more information, contact

–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue.
–For elevator access, please RSVP to The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.         
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Film, Theater
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Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

For over four decades, the films of Danièle Huillet (1936–2006) and Jean-Marie Straub (1933-2022) have been woven into the history of modern cinema as a continuous thread. While both were French, they worked mostly in Germany and Italy, and made two dozen films between 1963 and 2006. Their films, often adapted from theatrical or literary works, are distinguished by their deliberate use of Brechtian distancing techniques and strong Marxist political overtones. Aesthetically their work has been described as austere with minimal camera movements, long takes, simple, stark settings and restrained acting performances. Rare documents of aesthetic and political resistance to the world’s conditions, their works are characteristic of a great lyrical beauty and radical social formulas. when regarded today, Huillet and Straub’s oeuvre is an always fresh, exciting, and inimitable succession of films on history, painting, nature, politics, music, language, bodies, rhythms, and forms.

Matías Piñeiro (b. 1982, Buenos Aires) is a screenwriter and director. For over ten years he has been developing a series of films based on the female roles in William Shakespeare’s comedies, called The Shakespeareads. He teaches cinema at Pratt Institute (New York), and programmed for Punto de Vista – International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra (Pamplona) and Anthology Film Archives (New York). His films include Rosalind (2010), Viola (2012), The Princess of France (2014), Hermia and Helena (2016), Isabella (2020), and Sycorax (2021, with Lois Patiño), among others. He lives in New York.

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