Too Early/Too Late

Director: Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet
Year Released: 1981
Rating: 2.0

Experimental "documentary" by the tag-team of Straub and Huillet in two parts: in Part One pieces by Friedrich Engels (Marx's bud) are read while the camera spins around Paris; in Part Two the camera pans around Egypt while a text by Mahmoud Hussein about the struggle of workers is read.  It's most certainly not a film for everybody (like most of their work, which is at the deep end of the challenging section of cinema) and it's natural to question why they keep rolling well after the voice over concludes (do we really need a long drive through the countryside?) but there is something unsettling about the calm, almost peaceful images of farmers at work and kids playing and gentle swaying trees accompanied by stories of "violent revolution" and failure to enact real change.  It feels like an elegy to what could-have-been instead of what-is.