Deux (2002) Poster


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Idiossyncratic, infuriating non-linear autobiographical fantasia - for director fans only
R. J.7 January 2003
Werner Schroeter has made his entire career as a sort of cursed outcast of the Fassbinder generation of German cinema, alternating highly personal film projects with stage work, directing both opera and theatre productions. "Deux", written expressly for the great Isabelle Huppert (with whom Schroeter had already worked twice previously), is as idiossyncratic and infuriating as any of his previous work, probably more so because it's designed as a sort of "surrealist autobiography" where the director is actually portrayed as two female characters, apparently twin sisters unaware of each other's existence, both played by Huppert. That's about the extent of what you can actually get out of this non-linear transgender fantasia as far as a "plot" goes, since the film is basically an apparently random (and often impenetrable) collage of episodes in the life of both women and also their mother, without any rhyme or reason other than the baroque, operatic transfiguration of Schroeter's own memories into art for art's sake. There's an undeniable visual talent at work here and Huppert's mesmerizing immersion in Schroeter's peculiar universe is outstanding, but the lack of any narrative landmarks for the viewer to anchor himself to eventually turn "Deux" into a radical, experimental piece aimed squarely at a hardcore niche of arthouse audiences aware and knowledgeable about the director's work.
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An Invisible Thread
JustApt23 September 2014
This film is very hard to interpret. Isabelle Huppert said in her interview in Cannes that the story is a biographical film of the director. And she is just his messenger. "The film was written for me, but also for him. He projects in me. But it is a transfusion case, as if he came to inhabit in me – it's my heart, but his soul. I state his ghosts. He assumes that it is a film on him, that it speaks of his past, of his infancy. It is his unconscious in which he speaks". Two is a bohemian autobiography of the director told in surrealistic colours and consisting of visions, dreams, phobias and fantasies – a schism of reality.
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