Written and directed by Lila Avilés, is the 25th commission from Miu Miu Women’s Tales. The acclaimed short-film series invites today’s most profound and original female directors to investigate vanity and femininity in the 21st century.
Mexican indie cinema director, screenwriter, and producer Lila Avilés was born in 1982. Her full-length film, The Chambermaid, garnered multiple accolades from more than sixty film festivals throughout the world and was selected to represent Mexico at the 92nd Academy Awards. Tótem, Avilés' most recent film about a little girl negotiating an adult world, will have its world premiere in 2023.
Akemi Endo plays the lead character, Luz, in Eye Two Times Mouth. Endo is a soprano based in Mexico City, whose grandfather, Kensaku Endo, arrived in Mexico after World War II. Noted tenor Alan Pingarron plays Lucian, and veteran actress Irene Akiko plays Chío.
Sixteen years ago, Avilés worked on a Mexico City production of Madama Butterfly. It was her first encounter with opera: “I was in love.” Avilés’ interest in people and animals came magically together in Puccini’s tragedy about cross-cultural obsession and betrayal. Madama Butterfly also reminds Avilés how Mexican and Japanese mystical philosophies overlap. Avilés’ then worked her way up the theatre world, “in make-up, scenography, as a PA, and director,” which — along with being a mother — taught her the value of respect and care for others. When Avilés’ received the Miu Miu Women’s Tales commission, she was thrilled because, “as someone who is enthusiastic about stories, this series offers an open invitation. It felt like a rush!”
Eye Two Times Mouth has a refrain that is based on a Japanese proverb: “The slight flutter of a butterfly’s wing can be felt on the other side of the world.” Luz — a sensible and dedicated young woman — dreams of transformation, much like a caterpillar morphs into a chrysalis, then into a butterfly. When we eventually see Luz on stage, dressed as Puccini’s lead character Cio-Cio San, she dazzles; her metamorphosis is complete. In Eye Two Times Mouth, everything is connected: personal and mythic pasts, as well as the hands, ears, eyes and mouth. As Lila Avilés’ remarks, “it’s about the journey.”