(Danièle in Schwarze Sünde [Black Sin], 1988, Straub/Huillet)
When I attended the Viennale/Filmmuseum retrospective in 2004, it was my first and only chance to have met Huillet; I failed. I watched her a little in the lobby, she was rather aloof to all the reunions, drinks and commotion of that first night of their arrival. During the panel she interjected with her typical clarity and sobriety, and smiled and laughed when the subject wasn't peasant wars, a bad book on Cézanne by John Rewald, pieds-noir (French colonialists in Algeria), Bush.....She made one of the most trenchant and relevant comments to why the "rules of the game" are such as they are with their films, with their political stakes, with their extreme interest in the films of John Ford. She said:
"Everything has a motive, in the military too. They are not devils or criminals. It's too easy to say Bush is crazy — to understand the thing is the only way to combat it, not to apologize for it. In Bush you know what you're dealing with, with progressives you don't always know."
Several nights later, before either a screening of Dr. Bull (1933, John Ford) or Too Early, Too Late (1978), I saw her quietly buying a copy of JOHN FORD: INTERVIEWS while everyone hobknobbed, holding it between her arm and her chest the rest of the evening.