Kira Muratova: Two in One (Dva v odnom, 2006)

reviewed by Julian Graffy© 2007

Two in One: two stories, by two different writers, with two different subjects, filmed in two different styles. Two stories of death, maybe two murders; two deaths in the first story, the victims called Borisov and Boriska; two father Christmases; two young women, a blonde and a brunette, dressed in identical clothes; two pairs of workmen called Igor' and Iura; two old men who perform Puccini arias; lots of patented Muratova verbal repetitions—the two-ness of Two in One is never in doubt.

One from Two (or more): three of Muratova's most brilliant and innovative recent films have been constructed out of more than one part. In Chekhovian Motifs (Chekhovskie motivy, 2002), a Chekhov story was wrapped around a Chekhov comic play. Structural coherence was produced by the presence of the young hero of the first part at events in the second, and his eventual return to the setting and the characters of the first story; thematic coherence by the subtle revelation (and creation) of profound links between the characters in the two Chekhovian source texts. In The Aesthenic Syndrome (Astenicheskii sindrom, 1989), the first, black-and-white story was revealed to be a film being watched (or slept through) by the hero of the second, but once again close connections were established between the experiences of the protagonists of the two parts. Structurally the approach of Two in One is nearest to that of The Aesthenic Syndrome, but in Two in One the model is reversed, with the second part initially represented as a play performed on sets that the stagehands prepare in the first part. The two films are also linked by the presence of an on-screen audience watching the film or the play, and of a master of ceremonies who attempts to guide their reception of it. But in thematic terms, the closest precursor of Two in One is Muratova's other great hybrid film, Three Stories (Tri istorii, 1997), as is evident from the new film's original title, Two More Stories, One Simple and the Other More Complicated (Eshche dve istorii: odna prostaia, drugaia slozhnee). It is difficult to decide which of these two stories was deemed the “more complicated.”

In Three Stories Muratova made no attempt at all to provide structural links—the film consists of three discrete parts, with no overlapping characters. What gave the film its unity was the fact that the Three Stories were all tales of murder, of the elimination of someone close to the killer—a family member or a neighbor whose behavior was found wanting—and that this lethal tension was palpable from the start . The motivations for the deaths in Two in One are far less clear-cut: a (probable, but unexplained) suicide is followed by a clear, and clearly motivated, murder, and (perhaps) by another murder. The two stories in the new film have strikingly different plots and they are told in very different ways. Superficially Two in One's coherence seems the most fragile and its one-from-twoness the least satisfying of Muratova's four hybrid films so far. But Muratova has taken great care to connect the two parts through the use of motif and detail: the actors of the second part appear on the set in part one; props seen on the set in the first story, from copies of paintings to stone statues of women (kamennye baby) to a striking red flower, play their roles in the second; clues hidden in part one are revealed in part two.

The first story in Two in One , which in the end credits and the published script is called “Stagehands” (Montirovshchiki), was written by Evgenii Golubenko, who has been Muratova's masterly production designer from the time of The Aesthenic Syndrome, and whose scriptwriting credits go back almost as long, to The Sensitive Policeman (Chuvstvitel'nyi militsioner, 1992). At its start, one stormy morning, the first of the eponymous stagehands arrives on shift. His name is Vitia Utkin, and he is played by Aleksandr Bashirov, who was one of the eccentric workmen building a “barn or a shop” (sarai ili magazin) at the start of Chekhovian Motifs. In the earlier film he quoted Tiutchev and spoke German; here, as he walks on to the stage, he recites Hamlet's “To be or not to be” monologue in a highly mannered performance punctuated by animalistic laughter. He goes into the pit to change and then walks back on to the set of last night's play, a striking artificial forest dominated by blues and grays. After the crisp, dazzling black-and-white of her last two films, Chekhovian Motifs and The Tuner (Nastroishchik, 2004), it is a shock to be reminded of the inventiveness of Muratova's use of color. Suddenly Vitia knocks into a body hanging from a tree, presumably a suicide. The costumed corpse is that of the actor, Borisov, played by Filipp Panov, once again cast as one of Muratova's young misfits—he was the innocent bricoleur, Misha, in Minor People (Vtorostepennye liudi, 2001) and the eternal student, Petia, in Chekhovian Motifs. Though Vitia Utkin's first instinct is one of irritation—“Borisov, jerk, has hanged himself, fool!” (Borisov, podonok, povesilsia, kozel!)—he dismantles the tracery of rope trees and lowers the corpse to the ground. Noticing that Borisov is still wearing a fine ring, he takes it off, but he is seen doing so by the second of the workmen to arrive, the cleaner, Boriska, played by Sergei Bekhterev, Father Ivan in Chekhovian Motifs (“Stagehands” is full of cameos by Muratova regulars). Boriska accuses him of the heinous crime of the degradation of a corpse, boasts of his own intricate knowledge of the law, and threatens to call the police.

At this stage, with treacherous weather outside and death and false accusation within, innocent viewers might expect to settle down into an old-fashioned criminal melodrama, but of course Muratova's interest lies elsewhere. More and more of the theater's staff appear—two sets of stagehands, each named Iura and Igor'; the prop lady, Fania (Aleksandra Svenskaia, the head teacher [zavuch] at Nikolai's school in The Aesthenic Syndrome and Ofa's mother in Three Stories ); the stage manager; the costume department chief (Jean Daniel, Veniamin Andreevich in Three Stories and the groom in Chekhovian Motifs ); and Nina Ruslanova, a Muratova favorite from the time of Brief Encounters (Korotkie vstrechi, 1967). And all of them go through the same ritual. First they inspect the corpse and express words of regret. Later they find solace in the theater's clichés—what happiness to live and die on stage, the show must go on, laughter through tears, the deceased would have wished it this way. Most of all, they worry about how the corpse's presence will disrupt their usual routine. In just the same way, the stoker, Gena, played by Leonid Kushnir (here cast as one of the stagehands) in Boiler House No. 6, the first of the Three Stories, and the one that “Stagehands” most resembles, fretted that the sudden appearance of a corpse in his work place would prevent him from doing what he usually did at work, composing and declaiming his pseudo-Futurist poems.

Gradually, and with her customary sardonic humor, Muratova reveals that in “Stagehands” audiences are getting exactly what it says on the label, an attentive look at an eccentric group of people going about their business—getting on with their usual work, or their usual malingering, or boasting about their usual petty thieving. Neither they, nor Muratova, nor, eventually, we the viewers, have any interest in investigating the Case of the Hanging Corpse— none of us, that is, except the oleaginous Boriska, who repeats his sinister and unsettling threats to Vitia whenever he can. Three actors come and take a look, two young women, played by Renata Litvinova and Natal'ia Buz'ko, and a man called Evdokimov, Borisov's understudy in what we now learn is the part of the Duke, leading us to speculate that the forested play being performed was perhaps As You Like It , though Borisov's costume, with his white painted face and rosy blush, had made us think of him more as a sad clown. Evdokimov worries that he has just borrowed money from Borisov, money that he cannot now return. Later another actor, this time played by Boris Stupka, complains that the stagehands' poor workmanship had caused him to fall during his last performance. They mutter in irritation at the airs that “The Minister of Culture” gives himself. [1] This allusion to Stupka's extra-cinematic Ukrainian life, like Fania's later worry about the red flower that “Renata” will need in the play they are preparing, is one of many ways in which Muratova draws attention to the fact that “Stagehands” is just as much a performance by actors as the play that is to follow it.

So the stagehands continue their work, with sequences that stress the artificiality and lightness of trees and balustrades. Muratova's cinematographer, Vladimir Pankov, who shot The Aesthenic Syndrome, provides a number of satisfying compositions in muted greens and blues, including a beautiful scene shot through a stage curtain of men working on the set at different levels, reminiscent of Boris Barnet's The House on Trubnaia (Dom na Trubnoi, 1928). But Muratova has more surprises up her sleeve. Suddenly, the crime story that we have all forgotten reasserts itself. Vitia climbs high above the set to fix a cable and hears his tormentor Boriska repeating his slanderous whispers about what he has seen that morning. Tension is briefly dissipated by a seemingly irrelevant scene in which the old stage carpenter, Fedia, returns to work, dressed in a striking orange jumpsuit. Told that it is Igor' and Iura who have stolen his rooster and taken it to the market, he berates not them but their innocent namesakes. Gradually we come to realize that mistaken identity lies at the very heart of “Stagehands.” Silently, in his lofty vantage point, Vitia Utkin decides that he has suffered “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” for long enough. He takes “arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, ends them.” Without accompanying music or dramatic effects, he drops a heavy hammer into Boriska's back. We have been had, like the two old ladies duped by Andrei in The Tuner, and like almost all the characters in The Dummy (Kukla, 2007), the witty short film that Muratova has just made with several of the actors of Two in One.[2] The crucial corpse in this narrative is Boriska's, not Borisov's; the story, which is not about suicide, is a story about murder; the crime is at the end, not at the start—proof that Muratova is perfectly at home with the banal subterfuges of the murder story genre.

A striking feature of Two in One is the number of overt and covert allusions it makes to existing works of art. [3] Most of those in “Stagehands” seem ostentatiously meaningless, such as the early scene in which an overheard remark that Borisov's hand is cold causes a foppish old man in a white suit to strike up Rodolfo's aria “Che gelida manina” from La Bohème, a song whose relevance will emerge only in the second story. In the same way, the repeated scenes of characters stepping over the corpse do not lead us to Crime and Punishment . Nor, though the unexpected and unexplained appearance of the dead body mimics the beginning of Kharms' The Old Woman, and Igor' and Iura have recently carried the coffin of an old woman down from a seventh floor, is there any of the desperate anxiety to get rid of the body that is the motor of Kharms' tale. Borisov's body is just a physical obstacle, something that gets in the way and stops people going about their ordinary business. In this context, and despite the murder-driven plots of Three Stories and Minor People, it is fascinating to read Muratova's recent thoughts on murder as the motivation for art:

At first I was especially interested in murder. But then I realized that I am not capable of making a profound investigation of murder. I probably don't understand it enough. For example, I don't understand Raskolnikov. It's not that I don't understand—I don't believe in him as a literary personage created by Dostoevskii. For me, you can only stage this in the aestheticised version of the serial. […] a man who kills two old women and then spends a long time philosophizing about it, and then repents… That I do not believe in. All the same murder is a physical act. Do you understand? […] And I understood that if Dostoevskii didn't manage to pull it off, then there is no hope for me. I shan't manage to dig any deeper. You have to move somewhere, but I was no longer capable of moving in that direction. [4]

Nevertheless, Vitia's quotation of Hamlet's monologue that morning was not a false trail at all, for who would “bear th'oppressor's wrong when he himself might his quietus make” with a claw hammer? Boriska falls to his death with the single word “Alas!” (Uvy!), which flummoxes the bumbling policemen who finally arrive with their sniffer dog at the segment's end—expecting one corpse they are confronted with Two for the Price of One. While a woman cellist tunes up for the play with another Puccini aria, “E lucevan le stelle,” "Stagehands" ends with another small enigma: who is the young man, slumped by a large overhead lamp in a balcony, who looks up and stares at us?

The second part of Two in One, the back end of Muratova's pantomime horse, is the play for which Vitia and his colleagues have been preparing the set. Called “The Woman of His Life” in the credits, it is taken from a novella by Renata Litvinova entitled “A Meeting with the Woman of His Life” (Vstrecha s zhenshchinoi zhizni). After the audience has settled in its seats, muttering about the half hour delay to the performance, the doors open again to admit the play's narrator. He calls for snow and fake flakes fall into the theater, the artifice preparing us for a variant of a well established literary genre, in Russia as elsewhere: a story set on the night of Christmas or of New Year. But this is no heartwarming tale of love triumphant. Andrei Andreevich (Bogdan Stupka) is an aging, widowed satyr, once famed for his masculine magnetism, yet still desperate to find “the woman of his life.” He lives in a grand mansion with his daughter Masha (Natal'ia Buz'ko), who has already been the victim of his sexual appetite. If she cannot find him a woman for New Year's night—perhaps the woman with a poodle walking in the snow outside the house—then his choice will again fall on her. Faced with this awful prospect, she prevails upon her friend Alisa (Renata Litvinova), a vacuous young tram driver, to come to the house that night. The story, told through a combination of naturalism and formal artifice, is of feminine resistance, culminating in what looks like the drowning of the old monster in his bath, only for him to re-appear, zombie-like, on the Odessa steps.[5] Imperious as the statue of the Duc de Richelieu in The Battleship Potemkin, he tells them that he wants to be a devil. The women scream, the old man gives chase, the steps, which in The Sensitive Policeman Muratova had made the setting for Tolia and Klava's charming conversation about love and pity, [6] regain their original cinematic significance as a site of violence and threat. The exhausted old man falls gasping to the ground. The screen fades to black. But once again he has cheated death, getting away with broken bones that require the covering of his arm and torso in plaster. Now cast as a mummy, he phones Alisa from his bath and tells her he that loves her. At last he has found the Woman of His Life. But Alisa has had her cast removed and is tired of their game in which black is white and white black. The phone connection fails. It is perhaps not irrelevant that at the time of this last phone message Alisa is driving her tram and has just announced that the next stop will be the last (Sleduiushchaia ostanovka—konechnaia). We recall Woland's words from chapter one of The Master and Margarita: "Annushka has already bought the sunflower oil, and not only has she bought it, but she has already spilt it. So the meeting will not take place." The tram is in motion. The death has been arranged.

In “Stagehands” the death at the start was a red herring, the relevant death was the one at the end. In an elegant reversal, the two “deaths” of Andrei Andreevich at the end of “The Woman of His Life” are not deaths at all—the old man's demise takes place outside of the play's narrative and had been announced to us at the beginning. Before the flashback narrative had started, the two young women had stood dressed in identical winter furs under a stylized blue Christmas tree and spoken of the sound of the old man's soul departing, of the “unexpected end” of “my poor dad, the greatest man on earth.” But the artful early placing of this scene had made the film's audience ill-equipped to understand its import at the time. Though we may suspect that the young women are responsible, the cause of this death is never explained. The play that follows becomes almost an elegy for the vile old brute. Once again, the tricks and hidden clues of the conventional murder story are used by Muratova for her own purposes.

Muratova has shown us delinquent parents before. In Ophelia, the second of the Three Stories, scripted by Litvinova, the heroine tracked down and killed her errant mother. An episodic character in The Aesthenic Syndrome, driven to distraction by his teenage daughter's pop music, attacks and abuses her. The judge in Among the Gray Stones (Sredi serykh kamnei, 1983) is so absorbed in his own grief that he cannot look after his young son. Evgraf Shiriaev, in Chekhovian Motifs is a classic 19 th century tyrannical samodur , constantly berating and diminishing his son. Bogdan Stupka, too, has given us two great performances as overbearing fathers in recent years—General Serov in Pavel Chukhrai's A Driver for Vera (Voditel' dlia Very) and as the old man in Dmitrii Meskhiev's Our Own (Svoi), both 2004. But Muratova has no illusions about rampant masculinity, and predatory, abusive Andrei Andreevich is an altogether more sinister character. Much of “The Woman of His Life” is distinctly uncomfortable viewing, as he undresses and fondles his daughter, insisting that he is following the example of Goethe, and later urinates feebly against her door to mark his territory. It is Masha's disgust at this violation that causes her to phone Alisa.

Father and daughter live on different floors of the mansion, communicating with each other by mobile phone. Masha carries the symptoms of parental abuse, displaying a range of infantilized behavior. She collects dolls and runs up new clothes for them on her sewing machine; she dances a robot dance. She devours the chocolates familiar to generations of Russians, hiding their wrappers in her pocket so that she can guess whether she has eaten “Mishka kosolapyi,” with its illustration taken from Ivan Shishkin's painting Morning in a Pine Forest (1889), or “Mishka na severe,” “Romashka,” or “Karakum.”

But her friend Alisa is another matter, and in Litvinova's performance she is vacuous, coarse, forever cackling inanely, by some way the least sympathetic of her four Muratova heroines. Andrei Andreevich has met his match in her, and they provide the film's most improbably twinned characters—both kiss their reflection narcissistically in mirrors, both are seen urinating (developing into a Litvinova trademark after an al fresco scene in Ophelia), both eat caviar, both wear a cast.[7] Alisa's cast is on her arm, and this maimed quality immediately makes her attractive to the old pervert—“this cast touches my heart” (etot gips trogaet moe serdtse). He will later threaten to cut the muscles of her legs to stop her walking. “To prepare her” for her fate, he provides a slide show on the grand paneled walls of his mansion. The first Muratova character to project pictures against the wall of a room was the schoolboy Sasha Ustinov in The Long Farewell (Dolgie provody, 1971). Sasha Ustinov looked at elegant drawings of horses; Andrei Andreevich projects pornographic pre-revolutionary postcards, reminiscent of the images in Aleksei Balabanov's Of Freaks and Men (Pro urodov i liudei, 1998). Later Andrei Andreich and Alisa make lascivious mewing noises evocative of the extraordinary rapacious cat in the The Little Girl and Death episode of Three Stories .

If art had figured in “Stagehands” as a series of sunken and contradictory allusions, in “The Woman of His Life” it is omnipresent, collected, abused, misrepresented, and misread. There is to be no meeting with the “Lady with a Little Dog,” the initial object of Andrei Andreevich's affections. Shishkin will be encountered only on a candy wrapper. Anna Akhmatova will be misquoted. When Masha is frantically searching for the keys to the mansion, she opens a small green volume of the poet's work and twice declaims: “Oh how pleasant is the scent of carnation” (O, kak priiatno dykhan'e gvozdiki).[8]

In the opening episode of “The Woman of His Life” the first Iura and Igor', now doubling as actors, deliver a copy of Boris Kustodiev's 1915 version of his Beauty (Krasavitsa) , the original of which hangs in the Tret'iakov Gallery, to Andrei Andreevich's mansion. It joins his already large collection of copies of paintings of nudes, or parts of paintings, from the works of the Renaissance masters to Ingres's The Turkish Bath and beyond, (many of them glimpsed behind the scenes in “Stagehands”). The maiming that he contemplates inflicting on Alisa has already been visited on some of his paintings. All that he has commissioned, for example, from Botticelli's The Calumny of Apelles, a large picture based on a Classical original and rich in allegory, is a thin strip from the extreme left depicting a naked young woman. In the original, she represents truth and her finger points to heaven, where justice will prevail, but for Andrei Andreevich she serves the same purpose as his dirty postcards. The master of ceremonies had called “The Woman of His Life”: “A story of senile power and of beauty.” In Andrei Andreevich's collection, beauty is degraded. Later he will cut out the heads of two of the other paintings, force his daughter and Alisa to stick their faces in the holes and photograph them—a perverse echo of an innocent seaside attraction. [9]

Further intertextual contradiction is provided by the music of Puccini. We recall that in “Stagehands” a foppish, white suited old man, not dissimilar to Andrei Andreevich, but “with the moustaches of Salvador Dali,” [10] had sung the aria “Che gelida manina”, from Act One of La Bohème, which the poet Rodolfo addresses to the seamstress, Mimi, on Christmas Eve. She has come in from the cold night in search of her lost key, which Rodolfo finds and pockets, hoping thus to be able to spend longer time with her. On New Year's Eve, Alisa, too, emerges from the cold night, but, though Andrei Andreevich will kiss her tiny hand and offer to set her up with a sewing machine, Alisa is no consumptive Mimi (the red flower that she carries suggests rather an association with fickle Carmen).[11] And Andrei Andreevich is no Rodolfo (though he has told his daughter that in his youth he lived in a garret with artists). In this revisiting of La Bohème, the hiding of keys is a prelude to crude seduction.

Nor, despite repeated references to his ennui (toska), and despite his collection of paintings, is Andrei Andreevich modeled on the tragic painter Cavaradossi. His sexual violence and his (presumed) murder link him rather to Cavaradossi's sinister rival, Baron Scarpia. As he awaits execution in the last act of Tosca , Cavaradossi recalls his intense love for Tosca in the beautiful and poignant aria “E lucevan le stelle.”[12] The aria is played repeatedly in “The Woman of His Life,” most importantly in a scene in which Andrei Andreevich and Alisa mime and cavort to Placido Domingo's recording in a ghastly reverse karaoke. When he tires of the aria, Andrei Andreevich replaces it with Andrei Babaev's hit song “The Girl” (Devushka) performed by the popular Azeri estrada singer Rashid Beibutov. “ E lucevan le stelle ” gives way to:

I met a girl
With half-moon brows,
A mole on her cheek
And love in her eyes.
Я встретил девушку:
Полумесяцем бровь,
На щёчке родинка
И в глазах любовь!
Oh , this girl
Drove me wild,
Broke my heart,
Stole my calm!
Ах, эта девушка
Меня с ума свела,
Разбила сердце мне,
Покой взяла!
I lost her
And with her love:
A mole on her cheek
With half-moon brows.
Я потерял её,
Вместе с нею любовь:
На щёчке родинка,
Полумесяцем бровь.
If I cross the whole world
I'll find that love:
A mole on her cheek
With half-moon brows.
Пусть целый свет пройду,
Но найду я любовь:
На щёчке родинка,
Полумесяцем бровь.

Yet, as he struts his stuff, Andrei Andreevich would have done well to note the last words of Cavaradossi's aria. “…and I die in despair! And I have never loved life so much!” (“…e muoio disperato! E no ho amato mai tanto la vita!”).

Two in One offers us a scintillating examination and deconstruction of tired genres. In “Stagehands” it is the tale of crime and investigation; in “The Woman of His Life” the Christmas or New Year's Tale (sviatochnyi rasskaz, novogodniaia skazka) , the horror tale of the undead, and the pornographic masculine fantasy of feminine subjugation through incarceration, degradation, and maiming. It is a heady brew and, characteristically, Muratova, has never done anything quite like it before.

Julian Graffy, University College London


Notes

1] On Stupka's brief period as Ukrainian Minister of Culture, see, for example, his interview with Andrei Vandenko, “Svoi sredi chuzhikh,” Itogi 17 (26 April 2005): 82-86 (especially 83).

2] For a brilliant analysis of the role of scamming in The Tuner and of the radical artist as scammer, see Nancy Condee, “Muratova's Well-Tempered Scam,” KinoKultura 7 (January 2005). Satisfying links can also be pursued between The Tuner and The Dummy, and between The Tuner and Two in One.

3] I have examined the dense dialogic relationship of Chekhovian Motifs with existing works of art in “ Difficult people: Kira Muratova's Cinematic Encounter with Chekhov,” Essays in Poetics 31 (2006): 180-212 (especially 190-95). Neither there nor here, however, do I aspire to do other than to discuss some of the intertextual links that so enrich Muratova's films.

4] Quoted from her interview with Aleksei Radinskii in Zerkalo nedeli (Kiev) 43 (11-17 November 2006); Muratova goes on to explain that the crime she now chooses to examine is the more humanly comprehensible behavior of the scoundrel (moshennichestvo).

5] Earlier he had donned vampire's teeth to frighten the two young women.

6] The conversation ends with Tolia's memorable words “Everything else is like death, everything that is not love” (Vse ostal'noe na smert' pokhozhe—vse, chto ne liubov' ).

7] The casts worn by Litvinova and Stupka are genuine, the results of accidents that delayed the shooting of the film. See, for example, Oleg Vergelis, “Glavnyi fil'm goda. V Odesse vsem ‘vetram' nazlo Kira Muratova snimaet kartinu s Bogdamom Stupkoi i Renatoi Litvinovoi v glavnykh roliakh,” Zerkalo nedeli (Kiev), 2 (21-27 January 2006). Muratova converts this setback into a suggestive detail of the film's plot.

8] The line as Akhmatova wrote it is “Oh, how heady…” (O kak priano…). In some publications of Akhmatova's The Secrets of the Craft (Tainy remesla), it is the first line of the ninth poem of the sequence, written in 1957 and dedicated to Osip Mandel'shtam. In other publications of the sequence, the poem begins “I bend over him, as over a chalice” (Ia nad nim skloniaius', kak nad chashei). In yet others, the poem is not included in The Secrets of the Craft . The green volume in the film is instantly recognizable as being in the most prestigious poetry series of the Soviet period, the “Poets' Library” (Biblioteka poeta, Malaia seriia).

9] There is an innocently comic version of the device in the scene on the beach in Grigorii Aleksandrov's The Happy Guys (Veselye rebiata, 1934), in which Elena's imperious stepmother—and her poodle—pose in the costume of a bathing beauty.

10] Muratova, Kira, “Dva v odnom. Rezhisserskii stsenarii Kiry Muratovoi po novellam Evgeniia Golubenko 'Montirovshchiki' i Renaty Litvinovoi ‘Vstrecha s zhenshchinoi zhizni', " Iskusstvo kino 12 (2006): 76-101 (especially 78).

11] The music of Bizet is performed in the film, as well as that of Puccini. In the director's script the moustachioed singer sings a third aria, José's “Flower Song” (“La fleur que tu m'avais jetée”) from Act Two of Carmen (Muratova 82).

12] Though it is fascinating to note the differences between the published “director's screenplay” and the film itself, it is notable how much use the screenplay makes of this aria.


Two in One , Ukraine and Russia, 2006, released 2007
Color, 124 minutes
Director: Kira Muratova
Scriptwriters: Evgenii Golubenko and Renata Litvinova
Cinematography: Vladimir Pankov
Art Director: Evgenii Golubenko
Cast: Bogdan Stupka, Renata Litvinova, Natal'ia Buz'ko, Aleksandr Bashirov
Producers: Oleg Kohan and Ruben Dishdishian
Production: Sota Cinema Group

Kira Muratova: Two in One (Dva v odnom, 2006)

reviewed by Julian Graffy© 2007

Updated: 19 Jun 07