Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet / 1962 / 18 minutes

Relishing his political and sexual prospects in postwar Germany, a former Nazi colonel muses on the stupidity of the bourgeoisie, who can be easily duped in the voting booth and in the bedroom. Straub-Huillet’s first released film is a powerful, almost surreal, distillation of Heinrich Böll’s story, skewering the German soul though gallows humor, an interior monologue of calculation and cynicism, and a montage of jingoistic newspaper headlines. Straub would observe that the film is “built on the equation M [military] = M3 [murder].” New Digital Restoration.

  • "A ghostly and remarkable condensation of sharp cuts, clinking glasses, revanchist newspaper headlines, hotel cutlery, and organ music."

    — Ricky D'Ambrose, The Nation

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