MAN TO MAN


Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 




England, 1992, 72 min

Shown in 1993

CREDITS

dir
John Maybury
prod
James Mackay
scr
Manfred Karge
cam
Dominique Le Rigoleur
editor
John Maybury, Nigel Hadley
cast
Tilda Swinton

OTHER

source
Basilisk Communications
premiere
U.S. Premiere

COMMENTS

John Maybury and James Mackay in person.
Man to Man

Fearing destitution, Ella Gericke (Tilda Swinton), a roughly angelic young woman, assumes the identity of her deceased husband, Max, and continues life as a crane operator in Weimar Germany. With a rabbit's foot in her britches as an ersatz penis, Ella-now-Max takes to the world of men, the "beer and schnapps and bugger all else." With this world comes a glimpse of love and power only visible when gender is incognito. Adapted from Manfred Karge's play for a solo performer, Man to Man is an intense telling of a life's story, including a harrowing stint in Hitler's army, that ends in a grim flat in a much-begrudged present. The remarkable Tilda Swinton, best known for her elusively expressive performances for Derek Jarman (Caravaggio, Edward II) and Sally Potter (Orlando, SFIFF 1993), plies an agile androgyny. Her face, often held in penetrating close-up, is a shifting mask of identities, colored by a sexuality that never quite settles. Avant-gardist director Maybury uses an elegant array of electronic visual techniques to tell not just the history of a single woman, Ella, but the history of modern-day Germany, through its uneasy relationship to the politics of gender. Swaggering about in ill-fitting trousers, her bespittled lips anticipating the next biting reproach, Tilda Swinton will convince you there's more to a rabbit's foot than luck.

—Steve Seid