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Available for rent


Italy, 1969

Production : Janus-Film/Fernseh-Produktion (Allemagne), Klaus Hellwig, Straub-Huillet

Programmed by Claire Lasolle


English, Italian

Lost in Translation


_“Othon (Eyes don’t want to stay shut all the time, or Perhaps one day Rome will let herself choose at her turn)” _features actors, most of them non-professional, among the ruins of Ancient Rome. Despite the noise of the modern-day city, they try to perform Corneille’s play “Othon” (1664) that retraces the end of the short reign of Galba, the Roman emperor and frail old man entirely under the control of his three favourites Lacus, Martian and Vinius. Othon hopes to marry Vinius’ daughter Plautine, whom he loves, but Vinius encourages him to seek the hand of Galba’s daughter Camille in order to succeed to the throne.

Tënk's opinion

Rome, with its backfiring cars and the incessant din of a modern city. At the top of the Palatine Hill, the actors perform a script from another century – Corneille’s Othon. Even those of us whose native tongue is French feel like foreigners to our own language. It’s inaudible. Our eyes and ears struggle to follow, waver and constantly shift, and the film offers us a revolution in attention and listening.
“Mr Straub, we’re professors at the French Institute in Rome and we wish to tell you that there is not a word of French in your film! And yet Corneille represents France (…) And indeed, I am proud to have made a film in which there’s not a single word of French even though it’s taken from Corneille. You see, this is what I call putting things to the test. All our films have put things to the test. Places with texts, texts against places, texts in places, etc. If you don’t put things to the test, there’s no point in making a film.” Extract from “Après Othon”, interview with Jean-Marie Straub, Le Portique, 2014.

Claire Lasolle
Videodrome 2

Item 1 of 4
Item 1 of 4

Item 1 of 4