Some double acts only ever appear one way around: Morecambe and Wise, never Wise and Morecambe; Mitchell and Webb; Fry and Laurie. But even in the most equal of partnerships, that lends a certain primacy to the first-named. We do not order chips and fish, and wash them down with soda and whisky, after all: the chips and the soda are accompaniments. Every partnership has to live with this burden. And so Félix Guattari must always come second to Gilles Deleuze, even though the two of them are often slurred together into a single composite philosopher, Deleuzeandguattari.
Like Deleuzeandguattari, the composite filmmaker Straub–Huillet has a joint page on Wikipedia. (English Wikipedia, at any rate.) Searches on "Jean-Marie Straub", usually seen as the more director-like of the duo, redirect to the couple: and likewise for "Danièle Huillet", generally taken as the more producerly of the two. But they were life as well as professional partners, their work was undoubtedly joint, and though Straub was the more public in life (was, indeed, a little incendiary), Huillet is now receiving a much more equal appraisal from film scholars and critics. The title of our own book, The Cinema of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, has them in alphabetical order.
This new collection, edited by Martin Brady, Helen Hughes and Ricardo Matos Cabo (also in alphabetical order), looks back over the complete oeuvre of Straub-Huillet, or of Huillet-Straub. Ultimately deriving from a London retrospective of the films, the book appropriately has for its cover a photograph of the creators visiting England in 1976. We're very grateful to the musicologist, broadcaster and composer Misha Donat, who took this characterful portrait back then, and who has kindly given permission for us to use it now.
The Cinema of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub is due out in our Moving Image series in 2022.