WEST GERMANY/FRANCE 35MM, 1.37:1, COLOR, 132’
[Opening credits, black text on white, in German]
– A French-German co-production of Janus-Film with Les Films du Losange
– Co-financed by Hessischer Rundfunk, the Hamburger Filmförderung, the FFA and the CNC
[White text on black]
– Der Tod des Empedokles
[Black text on white]
– Tragedy in two acts by Friedrich Hölderlin 1798
[White text on black]
– oder: wenn dann der Erde Grün von neuem euch erglänzt
– Film by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub 1986
– Text in collaboration with D. E. Sattler (Roter Stern Publishing)
– Sound: Louis Hochet, Georges Vaglio, Alessandro Zanon
– Camera: Renato Berta, Jean-Paul Toraille, Giovanni Canfarelli
– Assistants: Michael Esser, Hans Hurch, Leo Mingrone, Roberto Palí, Cesare Candelotti
– Costumes: Giovanna del Chiappa, Costumi d’arte, Hair: Guerrino Todero
[End credits, black text on white]
– Empedocles: Andreas von Rauch, Pausanias: Vladimir Baratta
– Panthea: Martina Baratta, Delia: Ute Cremer
– Hermocrates: Howard Vernon, Critias: William Berger
– Three Citizens: Federico Hecker, Peter Boom, Giorgio Baratta
– Three Slaves: Georg Bintrup, Achille Brunini, Manfred Esser
– Peasant: Peter Kammerer
– Processing and Prints: Luciano Vittori
– Color Timing: Sergio Lustri
This is based on the first version of the film. Four different versions exist – four edits (by Huillet and Straub) and sound mixes from different takes of the same shots in the same order. The negative (35mm Kodak color) was developed at Luciano Vittori (Rome), the sound mixes were done with Louis Hochet at Éclair, Épinay-sur-Seine (Paris).
FIRST VERSION: edited in Rome, late Summer 1986; timed, printed and stored at Vittori. Length: 3,629 m. Print screened at the Berlin Film Festival. Opening title text aligned to the right. The “Lizard Version.”
SECOND VERSION: edited in Rome, Autumn 1986; timed, printed and stored at LTC, Saint-Cloud, France. Length: 3,618 m. Opening credits in French. Prints subtitled in English by Huillet and Barton Byg, in French by Huillet, in Italian by Huillet, Domenico Carosso, and Vladimir Baratta. The “Paris Version.”
THIRD VERSION: edited at the Filmhaus of the Friedensallee in Hamburg during a seminar with students, March 1987; timed, printed and stored at Geyer-Werke laboratory in Hamburg. Length: 3,601 m. Opening credits aligned to the left. The “Rooster Version.”
FOURTH VERSION: edited in 1987. The film is based on the first version (1798) of Hölderlin’s unfinished Der Tod des Empedokles. The text was established by Huillet and Straub in collaboration with D.E. Sattler, the editon of Hölderlin’s complete works published by Roter Stern in Frankfurt (1975), the Frankfurter Hölderlin-Ausgabe.
MUSIC: J. S. Bach, Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, BWV 1001, performed by Andreas von Rauch. PRODUCTION
DATES AND LOCATIONS: Late May to late July 1986, 8 weeks in a park in Dona Fugata (Ragusa, southern Sicily) and on Mount Etna, near Linguaglossa. BUDGET: 800,000 DM.
FIRST SCREENING: 1987 Berlin Film Festival, Competition (February); 1987 Festival des films du monde, Montreal (August–September); Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley (October 11, 1988); Facets Media Center, Chicago (one-week release, December 1988).