Christine Schäfer is Pierrot Lunaire. 1997 she played Pierrot at the Théâtre du Chatelet in Paris, followed by a recording with the Ensemble InterContemporain and Pierre Boulez in 1998. Together with Oliver Herrmann the idea to make a film about Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire was born. It was to be a film that breaks up the traditional forms of classical music on TV - a film which does not show pleasing pictures to classical music, but shows Pierrot’s drama in our world of the outgoing twentieth century.
An endless corridor connecting twenty-one rooms, like the poems of Giraud are connected through Schönberg’s music and Pierrot’s voice. Behind each door a surprise, a different magic-room, like twenty-one visions in his head. Two Pierrots are one Pierrot. One tells a story and watches, the other lives Pierrot’s life and his adventures. Christine Schäfer plays both, visually hard to distinguish, only through the colour of her eyes. Two sides of a person. Pierrot meets Pierrot at different places. Admires and detests him for the things he does. Sees himself on the billboards of Time Square, sees how he poses in a peepshow, and watches how he walks through a cold and steaming slaughterhouse. Pierrot tries to push Pierrot down the roof a skyscraper. Like a nightmare he reappears again and again. Finally, he falls into the deep throat of a city at night, along facades where his visions appear in the windows. Time and space dissolve in a surrealistic picture of a 21st century city. Pierrot is alone, as alone as one can be among people. The city swallows him and spits him out at different places. People walk by without having the slightest idea of what happens inside Pierrot’s head, what music is inside him.