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Poster Les avatars de la mort d’Empédocle 2010

Les avatars de la mort d’Empédocle 2010

In the summer of 1986, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub were working in the park of an old Sicilian mansion and in a clearing at the foot of Mount Etna shooting Der Tod des Empedokles. Assistant cameraman Jean-Paul Toraille toyed around, so to speak, with his first video camera, filming the daily work on the set. Now, 24 years later, he was joined by Jean-Marie Straub in editing the material into a film. Anyone who expected the shooting of Les Avatars de la mort d’Empédocle to be an austere affair, an exercise entirely devoid of humour or a Straubian tour de force is proven wrong: so much lightness, joy, concentration, spells of waiting for the sun to come out – and even proper slapstick in between – is hard to find.

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