13a 1914 OPEN YOUR MOUTH
Alma has been left by Oskar Kokoschka. Alma's friend, Lili
God! Oh God! I'm free!!! I'm finally free!
You handled it like a queen! Like a goddess!
my dear! Have you been eavesdropping again? I didn't think
I'd manage to shake him off. I hope I won't ever see him again.
(She starts to pack for her journey) Now I have to get the
abortion as soon I can, and then go to Berlin to hunt down
Gropius. I've got to see him. I miss him so much! He'll marry
me. No doubt about it.
didn't you split up with him?
has to sacrifice himself at my altar so that his magnificent
Aryan blood will merge with mine. to create a demigod.
I thought you didn't love him any more--
ALMA I don't
know-- but when I was with Oskar I suddenly missed him. God
(She bursts into tears:) Oskar is lost to
me! I can't find him inside me any more. He has become a stranger
He isolated me from the world so completely that I began to
sense how little one is really needed in it. I know he'll
go further, and probably be better off, without me. We almost
killed each other with our love! We rubbed up against each
other, and now he can live in peace and quiet. No-one to get
on his nerves any more. No-one. I want to forget him. You
have to help me to do that. You have to! !
have you done to him?
for his own sake--
mutilated an artist-- you'll never forgive yourself--
ALMA If his
real voice had called him to stay with me, and to paint a
masterpiece, he wouldn't have given in
abandoned yours when you were pressured! (she takes Mahler's
bust) You surrendered...!
ALMA It only
proves I wasn't destined to be an artist-
ALMA I loved
him like crazy. He and I were compatible to the last fibre
of our beings. He had everything a person needs to be great.
I loved him for that, and I loved the ill-bred, stubborn child
in him. That big kid. He robbed me of all my reason. He's
the only one I ever let do that to me. I wish I'd never met
Alma leaves the room; Lili follows her.
nothing as delicate and fragile as the soul of an artist at
the fugitive moment it conceives a new idea-- that moment
requires perfect faith-- divine grace-- endless love-- not
reservations-- disbelief and criticism of the new-born impulse
you say it-- It's too late my dear-
know how easy it is to strangle that fledgling before it grows
feathers and spreads its wings-
you were born to become an artist yourself! You have to compose
music -- remember how Gustav used to work-- if you don't let
go of men you're lost. Stop running from one man to the next
Gropius is not just anybody! He's a genius! He is going to
be the prophet of modern architecture. And he will marry me!
He will have to marry me! There's no alternative!
Alma-- you don't know what you're doing with your life-you're
still young -- you can still begin a new existence--
not going to be any new beginning-- I'm not going to be a
composer any more-- I can't help it-- the muses don't like
me. But men do. And precisely the ones the muses love. These
men adore me! They pray at my altar! That's why the muses
are jealous of me. Let them drop dead with envy-- like their
lovers die of love for me. That's the truth. - I don't know
why, but that's how it is. Gustav was never as absorbed in
his work as he was in his love for me, believe it or not!
Whatever he did, he did for me, to reach me, to touch me,
to worship me...! In his last Symphony, he even wrote it down!
(takes a score:) Here, have a look: »Almschi! Almschi!
To live for you, for you to die» There it is, in black
and white! And that's what he died for!
MUSIC: Adagio from Mahler's 10th Symphony.
Kokoschka is carried in on a stretcher. He is wounded.
not my fault if I spark fires of passion, it's not my fault!
Men swarm around me like moths to a flame, like flies to a
honey pot...! I was made that way! That's why I was born into
swarm to shit in the street too ...
LILI Go on
devouring life like a pig-- stuff yourself with food, drinks
ALMA I am
what I am! I was made to devour life, not to describe it
you have to make a choice: men - or music. You have to choose
one of them.
I start a new love there's more life in me than in any music--
what are you left with when you finish a love affair
always a new love to start up.
you think Walter is that new love? What's so new about him
is not just anybody. He is going to be the prophet of modern
architecture. I know it!
can deceive me, Alma. And you can deceive the world - but
you can't deceive yourself.
going to get that Gropius, or I'll eat my hat!
probably do the same - one day.
it have to be your hat? There are alternatives.
sperm of a genius!
tastes better than the sperm of a genius. Didn't you know
are disgraceful. You have such awful comic timing.
Shut up then.
right. I have to shut up. When I start talking, I don't know
what I'm saying. I'm a bag full of holes. I play the clown
only to hide my real feelings.
just trying to hide the truth from yourself.
I love you? Maybe. But don't worry. I've not really fallen
in love with you. I'm only playing games. I've never been
in love. Never. You'd better believe that. But it's so goddamn
easy to pretend you are. In love with people, with convictions,
with beliefs. But inside it's all hollow.
you've got me! I'm your friend!
is it that we always spend our only existence with the wrong
people? Always saying the wrong words, always doing the wrong
are you saying this to me?
know what I'm talking about. Don't you? We are birds of a
feather, you and me. Don't try to deny it. And don't play
games with me. It's so boring! You owe me nothing, and I don't
owe you anything.
always been very generous. And I know why, too.
that little sum of money? That's insignificant. It was my
I was even silly enough to spend my own good money to help
finance the printing of Alban Berg's Wozzek.
ALMA I knew
you were behind it.
I had to do it! If it weren't for my money, he would not have
been able to dedicate his opera to you.
But don't get your hopes up. . I won't show any appreciation.
relax! I know there's no chance of a relationship between
the two of us. So we can tell each other the truth . It's
such a luxury! Wow! Otherwise neither of us would dare.
ALMA I can
do without it.
do believe in love, don't you? You believe the love of others
will save you. But it can't. All it can do is help you fall
asleep. And there is always the morning after. But mornings
are not the time for love. Mornings are the time for waking
up. And when the morning is without love, the end of the day
is without hope. Didn't you know that?
ALMA I had
a voice-- a gentle-- tender voice-- that used to sing in my
soul-- it sang about people I loved-- new-born feelings --
the grief of parting -- I had a voice that mourned beloved
friends who had died-- there are not many other things worth
talking about-- I had a voice that knew how to sing about
things like that those -and it was my responsibility to safeguard
my voice-- not to let strange hands touch it-- but I didn't
protect my voice-- a man came who said that because he loved
me- I would have to silence my voice-- listen only to his
-- because it was stronger-- and that he would speak for me--
and I-- instead of telling that man-- get out of my way--
I don't want to hear your voice-- I said I agree-and to this
day my voice is stifled inside me-- broken- torn-- shattered
- like a mirror that doesn't reflect who I am anymore. !
you open your mouth one day- and try it. Try it...! But don't
let it shock you. . Because a cry of despair will come out--
the likes of which the world has never heard-- the scream
of a woman-- of millions of women-- whose voices have been
strangled by weak and frightened men--
make me sick...!
are sick! How can a person be so blind, so deaf, so vain?
Go on, go to Berlin. Slaughter your noble wild beast, your
prophetic architect. But at least let me watch. May I?
do you mean?
I come with you to Berlin? I'll cover all expenses. I'm willing
to pay to see you suffer. It will be my pleasure!
Alma puts the courtesan's costume on Lili.
nice. If you really want to know what life is like at the
front line of the battle of the sexes, come with me.
darling!! (embraces and kisses her) Thank you! Thank you!
Alma and Lili leave as Venetian courtesans to Oskar's Masked