On the eve of her wedding, the beautiful opera singer Malvina (Amira Casar) is mysteriously killed and abducted by a malevolent Dr. Droz (Gottfried John). Felisberto, an innocent piano tuner, is summoned to Droz’s secluded villa to service his strange musical automatons. Little by little Felisberto learns of the doctor’s plans to stage a “diabolical opera” and of Malvina’s fate. He secretly conspires to rescue her, only to become trapped himself in the web of Droz’s perverse universe. Also starring Assumpta Serna and Cesar Sarachu (Institute Benjamenta).
Shown with In Absentia (UK, 2000, 20 min.), a collaboration with the celebrated avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, In Absentia combines live action and animation to convey the mindscape of a woman alone in a room repeatedly writing a letter with broken off pieces of pencil lead, while outside her window vistas of ever changing light register her every emotion.
The MFAH film department is supported by Tenaris; The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea; Nina and Michael Zilkha; the National Film Preservation Foundation; Franci and Jim Crane; James V. Derrick; Ms. Melanie Gray and Mr. Mark Wawro; and Lynn S. Wyatt.