"His T-WO-MEN is a five part study of two women attitudizing a lesbian relationship through which Nekes can pursue his structural techniques. Both Nekes and Dore 0. have that strength of composition within a frame that marks all German film. In this film, the opening section has a succession of compressed images in which the tension is made between the textures and color of the two women's clothing and flesh, stockings, fingernails and carmine lips. This illumination of physical details is languidly punctuated by yawning swells of Wagner. Part two hurtles off the screen with a driving rain of light and color. Rocky cliffs, sea and the figure of a woman climbing to an incessant rock score.
Although to these senses, there were times when Nekes retained his interest in certain structures which he had dealt with earlier in the film, such as superimpositions on landscapes, without taking them into new areas of information, T-WO-MEN is abundantly beautiful. Part four, with the two women's bodies rolling and fluttering, pulsing and haloing like some astral source of light, is a breathtaking discovery."--Berkeley Barb.
Aus: filmmakers cooperative catalogue No. 7
"The film consists of five parts which differ trenchantly in rhythm and structure. In part one the viewer is subtly put in an erotic mood: shoes and legs are shown, parts of a faded dress, two pale marble faces. This hovering, floating part is succeeded - even in music - by a hard, quick pop rhythm (part 2). Images changing in split seconds, isolated shots. The third part uses superimpository techniques (up to five layers). Just as in the films of his
wife, Dore 0., repetition of certain elements (the surge of the sea, a certain street motif) evokes a chain of associations: parting and separation. The final part combines both in music and in image all motifs struck up so far. A difficult film, driving viewers from the cinema. Technically admirable and daring. Nekes belongs to the underground of film. It is here that innovations of stylistic means originate." (Brigitte Jeremias, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Oct. 17 1972)
T-WO-MEN is a programmatic title which means Two Women (Z-Wei-ber, the German equivalent, said Nekes, would have sounded a bit funny). It signifies the film's content: a relationship between two girls, lacking plot or development, isolated from social and temporal fixation, devoid of clues to its locality. The title's orthography also indicates the syntax of the film, its compositional principle: normally a projection rate of 24 frames per second creates the illusion of continual motion due to our eyes' inertia. Accordingly, the cutting of film, in other words the coupling of pictures which do not really belong together, has the effect that preceding pictures influence those following and vice versa. A new sequence does not therefore start off something absolutely new, but rather atmosphere, rhythm and theme are varied and continued: the image "T" reaches out into the image WO and this in turn is linked with the image MEN." (Wolf Donner, Die Zeit, April 1973).
Werner Nekes: a short comment on the aesthetic organization of T-WO-MEN: "The orthography of the title refers to the 'horizontal readability' of film. The tiniest film information is an amalgamation of two individual images in the mind of the recipient. Cader A joins up with Cader B to achieve the thaumatropic effect, to a form a 'cine', the smallest transmission element of cinematic information. If one wants to arrive at conclusions concerning cinematic 'language', one must analyze this element, the 'cine', or groups of the same. Just as image A forms a compound with image B, thus simultaneously, image B combines with image C. The 'cine' is determined by the exact difference (in the sense of information theory) between Cader A and Cader B. The identity of two Caders, in other words, no difference whatsoever, creates the illusion of a 'standstill', a slight difference that of motion, and a maximal difference that of a complete merging of forms. Part 1, 2 and 4 are examples for 'horizontal', parts 3 and 5 for 'horizontal and vertical readability' of film."