August 12, 2018

Brooklyn, New York


Twice at Once is a film about a dysfunctional marriage and a misguided attempt at salvaging intimacy. Originally inspired by a segment of This American Life—itself excerpted from The Butterfly Effect, Jon Ronson’s podcast about the custom pornography industry—I began to imagine juxtaposing the aesthetics of amateur porn with the tension and realism of a relationship drama. I was struck by a segment about ‘Mr. Stamps,’ a man whose desire for sexual humiliation was achieved through the destruction of his priceless stamp collection. 

Visually and thematically, stamps seemed to me an ideal motif for portraying the conflict between obsessive fixation and interpersonal connection; the philatelist hones his attention on micro objects, searching for flaws and deficiencies as the world around him loses focus. Pornography is often presented as an uncanny distortion of reality, replete with endowed pizza-guys, dominating landladies, etc. In both cases, reality takes a back seat to fantasy.  

Less about the man stuck in his stamp world and more about the effect of his solipsism on the people around him, Twice at Once draws on the fraught negotiations between sexuality and intimacy. When one character takes a risk in the attempt to break through her husband's inward myopia, a new step in their relationship seems possible. But far from being a way out, she finds that it only enforces a closed circuit with no way in.

Amos Efrat

Writer, Director & Producer

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