Even in Nuit de chien, an ostensibly political film (but aren’t they all political?), a snippet of her Proch Variations (!!!) erupts, underpinning the violence done to two women, their solidarity and hope for freedom.
Back in 2009, Libération ran a wonderful Schroeter interview in which he mentioned Maria Callas:
I came to cinema almost by accident, because I am someone who has always lacked ambition. Maria Callas, God’s messenger, had taught me to what extent ambition was contrary to artistic activity. I had broken off my psychology studies after three weeks and was thinking of going back to my work as a prostitute.
Schroeter spoke simply and without emphasis about his work in the sex industry; he also apparently had (has?) a son.
Now I know that brutality and violence have been created by those who fear death. To kill others is to hope to be immortal. The appropriation intrinsic to capitalism works along the same lines. This also relates to what has been my sole concern from the start, in my life as in my films: the quest for love. A man or a woman who refuses to be left, the appropriation that they demonstrate, is itself a form of murder. In 1968, the mother of my son fell in love with my lover, a young American painter. She was four months pregnant. They married and had my son. I was happy—you can’t imagine. I had set those two beings free. You must open your arms wide, let things go: that’s what life is about.
In other Callas-related news, Dacia Maraini (nice recent photo) recently spoke about her latest book, La grande festa, in which she wrote (again) about Maria Callas.
P.S. I reviewed the Morgan Library & Museum’s “Renaissance Venice” show for Capital New York, and I think it’s a pretty good piece (and a wonderful exhibit).