This esoteric short film focuses on eternally chic identical twin sisters Mady and Monette and will make you re-assess the highs and lows of sisterhood and humanity.
Dive into the lovely world of Mady and Monette, two peas in a literal pod, French identical twin sisters who are famous around Paris and beyond for their ethereal and eternally endearing connection. These two “lovebirds” are each other’s perfect mirror – they dress alike, they eat alike, listen to the same music and are even known to finish each other’s sentences.
So what happens when the amazing Danish writer and director Martin Garde Abildgaard turns his deft creative lens on these two in his new short film, Lovebirds? Pure magic.
We had the opportunity to talk to Martin about working with Mady and Monette and this awesome production as a whole.
How did you come up with the idea for the film? Had you been great admirers of Mady and Monette already beforehand?
I first saw the identical twins Mady and Monette in Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece of a feature film, Amélie, and was extremely fascinated by them back then. There is both something beautiful, but also very poetic about them. They are each other’s shadow and move and talk almost in sync. For a long time I had worked on an idea about personality and identity and then I had the possibility to do a short film with the Paris-based production company Les Producers, and here we are now!
What was it like working with those lovely women for this film? I can imagine no truer chemistry can be found than between two twin sisters!
It was really great to work with Mady and Monette. They are extremely professional and this film is also very personal to them, so I feel they really have delivered something extra in regards to the depth of the characters. The biggest challenge was of course to tell who was who! But I think I managed to get through the shoot without mixing their names.
Sounds fantastic. And aesthetics for this film are perfect – I love everything from the music and lighting to the color palette. Was it important for you to include a lot of pink and red hues to express femininity as opposed to the grey and black of the doorman?
Thank you, I’m so happy you like it. You are very nice. I have never been afraid of colors. Many Nordic directors have a sort of ‘noir’ look, but in projects like this, I like to boost the colors, experiment with contrasts and create a spontaneous and playful look. I have also done quite a few films in black/white earlier, but in this one it felt right to go with the feminine colours, ad some naivety, and also let the look of the surroundings and interior help support the characters’ inner core and overall style.
And did you grow up with sisters? The sisterly love/hate relationship in the film is so real, which leads me to believe you must’ve had some real-life inspiration there?
I actually grew up as an only child myself, but have always dreamed of having siblings. To me, the real-life experience in regards to the theme of the film more comes from the world around me. From society. I experience many people being very “trigger happy” these days, when it comes to having opinions about others.
Yes I think the film is as much abut self-love (and self-hate, I guess haha) as it is about sisterly love, because they are each others’ mirror. What message did you want the audience to take away from the film? Beyond the lovely aesthetics, of course.
One of the beautiful things of making films like this is, that the audience can analyse and digest the story in so many different ways. And they should do that. You can look at it as a relationship story about two very specific people, but you can also zoom out in a wider perspective and draw parallels to how people behave all over the world today. In politics. On social media. Everywhere. The main message is: look at yourself in the mirror before you judge others.
You said before that this was a personal project for Mady and Monette. To your knowledge, did they feel that this was, in a way, an accurate portrayal of their relationship or was it more of a funny, “fantastical” exaggeration of a certain dynamic?
Mady and Monette told me that this film is much more personal to them compared to the projects they usually do. They have been living together for their entire life. As sisters. But also as each other’s mirror image. Because they are so much alike, I guess if they get irritated at each other, as sisters, they also in some way gets irritated at themselves. Because they are so much in sync, always together, and doing the same, eating the same, watching the same, wearing the same, it elevates this thing of being siblings to a whole new level. So the experience for them, being in the film, is also a sort of portrayal of the sweetness of their real-life relationship, I guess.
Thank you, Martin. And thank you, Mady and Monette!