3d 1902 KITCHEN GOSSIP
Kitchen. RESERL washes blood-soaked bed linen. On the stove,
a diet meal is cooking. BURCKHARD appears. (Later joined by
KLIMT, the ALMANIAC, and ZEMLINSKY.)
what are you doing there?
working. Can't you see?
washing your blood-soaked linen here, in the kitchen? Are
not my linen I'm washing.
it that time of the month, or what?
It's my master's linen. Now leave me in peace!
master? Ahh - has he already
quiet! You're awful! - It's not what you think.
fine character, your Direktor Mahler! A real gentleman! So
soon before the wedding! Couldn't he have waited?
some of the boiling-hot food:) Max, Max! Come here - Try some
of this ! It's delicious!
Wahhhh...!!! - What the hell is that?!! Reserl, what's going
ask me. I'm cooking something so disgusting I wouldn't even
dream of tasting it. It's a scandal.
tastes like Matzeball with laxatives. What is it?
a stew of whole-wheat bread and pommes-reinettes.
bread and apples? Good gracious! Who could eat a thing like
that?! - Oh! I see! Alma's pregnant, isn't she, hm?! Oioioi!
It's the only dish the master of the house will eat.
Mahler? What's the matter with him? Is he sick?
you put it in your mouth if you were healthy?
obsessed with diets, you know? She's not allowed to cook anything
that smells of life, of blood! No rare meat, no beef and kidney
pies, no steak tartar! Anything that risks making your mouth
water is strictly forbidden! Nothing but spongy pommes-reinettes!
why is that? Why is he so unsensuous?
because of his... his »bitter plague»
calls it his «subterranean pains».
pains»? What's that?
can't utter the word.
Christ's sake!? Reserl! What is it?!
got... He's got ... - No, I can't!
it, Reserl, say it! Come on!
I won't! Come on!! Don't make me angry!
Haemor....Haemor... no, I can't! Leave me alone!
Your destiny and God himself have put you in a position where
you can enlighten the rest of mankind in regards to the darkest
secrets preoccupying the mind and spirit of one of the greatest
geniuses of the 20th century! You are in a position to enrich
all of humanity with a crucial insight into the psyche of
a genius! Tell us, Reserl, what are those subterranean
pains that make our Court opera director eat only tasteless,
his .... God forgive me!.... (whispers) haemorrhoids.
nebbich! Haemorrhoids... It's common knowledge all over Vienna!
do you know about it?
ha, ha! (secretly:) »It's a cold winter's night... The
night of February 24th, 1901. Gustav Mahler is directing his
6th Symphony at the concert hall in the morning, and that
same evening The Magic Flute at the opera... He
is suffering... He is suffering terribly! (he scratches his
ass, sings as a parody Mozart's Magic Flute: »In
diesen heil'gen Hallen kennt man die Rache nicht, kann kein
Verräter lauern, weil man ihm gleich vergibt!«)
Alma, who hasn't yet met him, is sitting in the auditorium
She is fascinated and deeply impressed by Lucifer's face,
those pale cheeks, those burning eyes! No one can endure such
a blaze very long! It's not possible to create two miracles
in one day, with such intensity, without being destroyed in
the process.« (He dries, produces a small book from
his pocket.) - Wait a moment, wait a moment... just one second,
just one... where is it
? Where's the goddamn ending...?
a monster! (tries to take the book) Give it to me, you're
the Devil Incarnate!
God and the truth, better known as The Devil, my dear, dwell
in the infamous details, remember this! - Read aloud!
That night Alma's attention is drawn for the first time to
the spiritually tortured face of Director Gustav
Mahler. She believes the fire is in his mind, she has no idea
it's in his ass
we say that she fell in love with the suppressed or sublimated
side effects of his haemorrhoids?
hate you, I hate you, I hate you all... You are disgusting!!
She fell in love with his spirit!
spirit - my ass!! Hahaha! - Could you fall in love with me,
fall in love with you?!
at me, Reserl! (He composes on kitchen equipment)
I am Gustav Mahler. I mean, I am as madly in love with you
as he was that night with Alma. What would you say if I proposed
Mahler - marry me?! He would never do that!
he did! - Suppose you were Alma.
can't be Alma.
course you can. Any girl in the world can be Alma. All she
has to do is meet her Gustav.
she has to do is meet her Gustav?
you say my love?!
read!!! - (gives her a sheet of paper:) I wrote this for you.
Through all the nights when I lay alone in my room and ...
But you said you were incapable of writing ...?!
to Zemlinsky) The Professor taught me ...
»Das kam so über Nacht!
Hätt' ich's doch nicht gedacht,
Daß Contrapunkt und Formenlehre
mir noch einmal das Herz beschwere!
So über eine Nacht - Gewann es Übermacht!
Und alle Stimmen führen nur
mehr homophon zu einer Spur...«
How charming! How wonderful!!
(ZEMLINSKY) Go on, go on!
kam so über Nacht
ich habe sie durchwacht -
Daß ich, wenn's klopft, im Augenblick
die Augen nach der Türe schick'!«
How beautiful! It's a dream
is a dream! It is a dream! You are a dream. Oh don't wake
me up -I'll throw away ten dream-Almas for one real Reserl!
(ZEMLINSKY) (secretly) Where did you get that?!
He gave it to her - the day after they first met. !
touching! How wonderful! It was love at first sight!
(ZEMLINSKY) (whispers): Alma! Ask me whatever you want ! I
will engage you as conductor of the opera orchestra!
You will engage me
? How moving! How beautiful!!!
whole thing is a sin! Such a beautiful creature, and of pure
Aryan descent! She shouldn't spoil it all by marrying that
arthritic degenerate Jew.
ill, debt-ridden and impotent? Eats nothing but wholegrain
bread and fruit, and that's exactly how he composes, too!
not true! His Lieder are very beautiful-
ALL His Lieder! What do you know about them ?!
to the house telephone:) I listened when he played them for
eavesdrop on your master and his mistress?!
what? You do the same often enough!
listen to his diet music?! With the irresistible charm of
apple pie?! It never fails to work - as a laxative! Spare
me his music.
the suitors like an imaginary orchestra, performing the funeral
march from Mahler's 1st Symphony, the »Frère
Jacques«-motive. They use all kinds of kitchen equipment
and make a horrendous noise. Subsequently they move stealthily
out of the room, leaving Reserl with Zemlinsky.
listens to his music, but her senses don't respond. I am afraid
that Alma feels that she belongs, that she will always belong
- to someone else
Why torture yourself? I told you - you can give meaning to
her life. You are far superior to all the other men who come
to this house. I know it. - She's in a terrible dilemma. There's
always somebody between Gustav Mahler and her. She mutters
"my love", and immediately she adds
"Alex". How will she be able to love my master as
much as he deserves? And will she ever understand his music?
- You played her your music. You have listened to hers. You
! You kissed her
- Now if you are her
good friend, I dare you: tell him that he should take his
hands off Alma Schindler, because she needs to be free, you
hear me? She needs to be free, and not be chained to him.
Tell him this, if you really are her friend! - He doesn't
think much of her art, but he thinks a lot of his own. And
she doesn't think much of his art, but she believes very much
in hers. That's how it is.
Reserl is interrupted by Alma (the beginning of "Pantalone
Reserl!! I need a drink!! Give me a drink!!!!
madam! I'm coming!!