Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet | Hölderlin, That Is Utopia

  Jean-Marie Straub: Hölderlin experienced the birth of the Wilhelmine Age. He was a young poet, full of high-flying plants; he said that himself. He was twenty-eight years old when he wrote The Death of Empedocles. In Germany between 1789 and 1798 all kinds of things had happened. Things had gone well for the ruling class, less well for other people. Büchner had had to flee, and some others as well . . . Hölderlin dreamed of the revolution—let’s call it that, even if the word is no longer in fashion today—a revolution that did not take place. As an…

riots and/or poetics [8/2019]

The exact link is uncertain. But we know the Nazis loved / America; Hitler yearned to paint a twin, // a green room where the dead are everywhere. / Asked Abraham before the flame, to the obedient tribe // What are these statues you cling to? // Why calico, why Spanish moss, why the crickets scream. / Confederates raise the undead everywhere. // In a segregated graveyard, no stone reads / private or public; the local jail is everywhere. // Before another body is buried, a window is broken. / A window was broken. The window is broken. // I look everywhere for Fanon’s knife, waiting for…

Jean-Marie Straub | My Key Dates

  I’m older than Baudelaire when he said he was a thousand years old, so: 1842. The German forest is forbidden to the poor (dead wood, mushrooms, chestnuts, etc.); it becomes a place for indus- trial exploitation. A young Karl Marx protests, costing him his position as a journalist at the Rheinische Zeitung. Winter 1942. I go ice-skating on the frozen Moselle. STALINGRAD! “Finally, the beginning of the end,” says my father. 1945. A few days before the end of the war, just to impress Stalin, American B17s bomb Dresden, one of the most beautiful German cities, twice, destroying it and…

Jacques Rancière; Politics in Film

  Politics in Film Fireside Conversation: Straub and Others There is no politics of cinema, there are singular forms that filmmakers use to connect the two meanings of the word ‘politique’ which can be used to describe a fiction in general and a cinematic fiction in particular: politics in what a film is saying – the history of a movement or a conflict, exposure of a situation of suffering or injustice – and something more like ‘policy’, meaning the specific strategy of an artistic approach: a way of accelerating or slowing time, shrinking or expanding space, harmonizing or de-harmonizing gaze…