2002. France/Germany/Portugal. Werner Schroeter. 117 min.
Friday, May 11, 2012, 6:30 p.m.
Theater 1 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 1), T1
2002. France/Germany/Portugal. Directed by Werner Schroeter. Screenplay by Schroeter, Cédric Anger. With Isabelle Huppert, Bulle Ogier. Reuniting Schroeter with the fearless Huppert for the third time, Two is a quasi-autobiographical, surreal-expressionist memory play, a collage of hauntingly beautiful, fragmentary, and grotesque vignettes punctured by opera arias that underscore themes of fractured identity and love and death entwined. The film’s elliptical narrative moves between the Portuguese coast and Marseille, and between identical twin sisters—Huppert, in two of her greatest roles—who are separated at birth and estranged from their mother (Ogier), then suddenly become aware of each other’s existence. The sisters, named Magdalena and Maria, embody the spirits of Schroeter’s muses inspiratrices: his beloved actress Magdalena Montezuma, who died shortly before the film’s production; and Maria Malibran, the celebrated 19th-century mezzo-soprano who was the subject of his masterful The Death of Maria Malibran. 35mm print courtesy Le Petit Bureau. In French; English subtitles. 117 min.