|The essays I wrote on the film "Class Relations" (Klassenverhältnisse)
are based on handwritten notes taken during the screening and/or jotted
down in the night after I saw the film.
There existed an initial version and another one, written
shortly after the first, which was the result of what you might call 'second
I sent a photocopy of the first version, perhaps even
of both texts, as well as a letter commenting (I think) on the film, to
Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, knowing they might be interested.
Or believing it, at least, in view of their previous reactions to essays
I had written about various films they had done.
Their friendly and positive reactions, manifested in many
postcards and a few letters, had been encouraging me to continue sending
them my (as always, unpublished and unpublishable, in West Germany) comments
ever since Jean-Marie Straub translated a poem I wrote about 'Moses and
Aaron' and saw to it that both the German original and the translation
were printed in the Cahiers du Cinéma.
In the case of 'Klassenverhältnisse,' the film-makers
sent my (first or second) text to Manfred Blank, a member of the editorial
board of the Filmkritik, a West German journal I cherished
and subscribed to, until I could no longer afford it. There were a few
letters by Manfred Blank to me, and by
me to him, and he apparently ended up arguing, in a meeting
of the editorial board, in favor of the publication of my text in the Filmkritik.
As it turned out, his plea in favor of publication and Jean-Marie Straub's
endorsement of the text were not sufficient to get it published at the
This late publication of these texts is a small attempt
to say thank you once more, both to Manfred Blank and to Jean-Marie Straub.
The texts are dedicated to the memory of Danièle.