Equinox (1992): Rudolf’s Feature about Duality of Identity, Starring Matthew Modine in Two Roles

In Equinox, Alan Rudolph is using the old literary conceit of twins (both played by Matthew Modine), but, as always, his sensibility is modern.

As a study in the duality of identity, the movie centers on twin brother Fred and Henry. Separated at birth, one grows up an orphan, the other adopted, one becoming bad, the other good; each exists as a half of a dark/light schematic, but is beckoned by the other, yearning to meet the doppelganger he doesn’t know is alive.

An ensemble piece about criss-crossing destinies that’s social-minded in its concern for the moral decay of urban society, Equinox suffers from a low-key tone and incoherent texture. Not exactly a romantic fable, it’s more of a noirish fairy tale with rich imagery and subtle humor. The metaphor of life’s randomness flashes through windows in the form of a neon “lottery” sign. The currents of human interaction that fascinate Rudolph are expressed in self-consciously noirish elements.