The first 17 pages of a 170+ page script for your delectation.
L†† e††††† S†† Q†† U†† A†† R†† E
©Frank Lauder††† mmxii
We open on darkness and the lights of a busy cafť district like Crouch End/ Hampstead at night, with a song (yet to be completed) and a skein of jazz played over until V/O starts.
MUSIC swells and the SONG becomes loud then :
1††††††† FX as VO starts over a background, which will introduce the titles
†FX as titles end, BG sound cuts in
†as the TITLE
appears on the screen. This will be the style of all further titles of this nature, which are marked *
Ö.It's around six-thirty one evening and Morgan, who is an Art Director in an Ad. Agency, is fed-up with work. He sits at a bar in The City of London and dreams a little, thinking about an Ad he's designing and mentally adding copy to it, avoiding the rush hour which is still taking place around him.
FX we see MORGANís eyes move, him thinking as action starts and V.O. begins to finish
ÖÖ. Then amid the gaggle of other traffic-dodgers, a young woman walks in and through to where he isÖ..
2† INT.† DAY/EVENING.† BAR.† DEBORAH.
††††††††† DEBORAH enters bar. We see her, she is smartly dressed and attractive.
3†† INT.† DAY/EVENING.† BAR.† MORGAN.
MORGANíS eyes follow DEBORAH.
4†† INT. DAY/EVENING. BAR.
MORGAN and DEBORAH.
Champagne, bubbles and laughter.
5†† INT.† DAY/MORNING.† BATHROOM..
MORGAN brushes teeth in foreground.† DEBORAH dresses in B/G.
6† FX /FOLEY/ANNETTE/LERSVEYOPU V.O.
†††††††† with the aid of writing in various media in FX.
"He who remains silent acts... but he who speaks is considering action."
upon the sharp edge of an isolated moment.† Perfect Release. Perfect Motion. Perfection. Perfect. Perfect form: for what after all, is Perfection.
7†† FX. THE JOURNAL.
A hand (ANNETTEíS HAND) writes continuing context of 6.
Montage over writing FX. We see the plot unravelling further.
8†† EXT.† DAY.† SOHO.† PHONE BOX.† KELLY.
KELLY is talking on PHONE.
9† INT.† DINER/CAF….† DAY. ANNETTE.
ANNETTE is talking on PHONE.Crying.
MUSIC swells back and the SONG becomes loud then :
10† EXT/INT.† MOVEMENT. MORGAN
AS EXPLANATORY ACTION BEGINS:
11† EXT/INT. DAY. MORGAN
†Scenario: working at his screen day after day,
.........there was one comfort, Routine. Each morning Morgan made his way to work, to The Studio, which was an Advertising Agency.Outwardly there had been little change, though word spread that something had happened to him, that was evident.†† He became known around the offices for his isolation, his lack of attention and care fo others.† Well, of course he was living in a self made cocoon. No-one could ever get really close to him, after all, loneliness seeps in at the level of the blood and the marrow; as basic as that, and as common
12† INT/EXT DAY. MORGAN
Looking through a handout of some type, at length he marks something. We see him reach for the phone.
Iím looking to hire... yes.. a studio ...yes I paint still-life and landscapes and life.. yes Iíll need to hire a model I guess... but youíve a noticeboard, donít you ..
13†† INT. DAY. STUDIO. MORGAN
...so I shall do what I can... create the art of the possible.
Montage: Then Fall, Winter, Spring. Summer was almost upon him..... MORGAN clutching a cup of coffee and smoking Gitane Mais.
14†† INT. DAY: MORGAN. MONTAGE
.....This morning I got up early as usual, the streets were empty as I drove into the office carpark: merciful. I was at my desk at 7.30, turning-over the report that Hendrixsson had brought in last week: after all there was a decision to be made on it and the time was short.† I mulled over it for an hour or so before I had a coffee and one of those almost tasteless, crunchy hard ginger biscuits: and then the 'phone rang. It was David, asking about the 'stats.† I told him the latest news and we forgot about the 'stats for about 20 minutes or so: then finally I promised to send them over by messenger, made a note of it and put it on Fiona's table, then got back to work. Of course, none of the layouts were ready, and I had to go over the settings with a fine tooth comb...........
AS DIALOGUE† OUT : FADE INTO
15† INT. DAY. STUDIO:
ART DIRECTOR 1
Well, we could put those copies flat on the artwork
You know you'll never get them flat.
ART DIRECTOR 2
I know that.. but will Williams know?
They might be punters, but we still have to smarm them up..
ART DIRECTOR 2
Will they know though?
ART DIRECTOR 1
That's not the bloody question
ART DIRECTOR 2
†Well, I think it is when they're
†paying so much for our services ...
ART DIRECTOR 1
Well, what about those layouts, then?
ART DIRECTOR 2
Get them finished and ready for presentation
ART DIRECTOR 1
But those colour stats and
overlays will cost a fortune!
Well yes, so what - it's the studio
time I'm worried about, after
all we're always short of staff
ART DIRECTOR 2
Very funny...., we can only get it
if you take the clients to the right
†venues.. feed 'em up and then
present to them right
ART DIRECTOR 2
††††††††† What about that Model then?
You know, the black haired one..
†the Italian one.. you know
Oh, the one on the shoot, that
David was screwing
They say Agency's mad
because her belly's all swollen
Don't be silly.. heavy sex
What's that to do with us?
Itís our photographer who fucked her!
Or.... zilch...† point is, there was a huge
contract and it looks like she's
lost it..you know, swimsuits ..† and
they're threatening to sue David...
bloody thousands in commission
PROCESS over GENERAL ACTIVITIES to:
16††† PROCESS. MORGAN
††††††††††††††††††† NicelyBlack *
........the new model poses for me: I imagine that she is in a Cemetery, all naked among the weeds and the fallen trees, bright black darkness among the stones,† and she wears tall gloves: that's all, merely those tall red gloves.† I've noticed that in default she always likes to wear just one thing. I like the idea., but don't tell her.
It gives the idea of body a deeper metal. Anyway, red contrasts with the green of the grass and the finely-turned edges of the grass - black against the stones of my imagination, her hair, spikey and almost Chinese. Black. Nicely black.
††††††††† By drawing her I have begun to discover her thoughts.† All at once I find I am inside her mind.
17† SOUND MORPHS TO VOICE (ANNETTE):
Now, like a drink of thick black coffee and deep yellow Strega she could allow him into her thighs, and yet allow herself the moment of sublime passion, as she shut him out with a movement. She could cut the thickness of her passion as if she were finishing her widest orgasm, on cue.
"What have you done with that body ?"
"What else is there for a woman .... it's mine to do with as I please .. what do you think I've done ... what do you think I should have done?"
FADE SOUND back to MORGANíS V.O:
......the lead of a coarse pencil creates minute rivulets of faults upon the paper: whereas in reality she is perfect; what those faults actually do is to construct a communicating myriad of elements which inform the onlooker about the nature of paper and marker and air: the imperfections of eye and perception, and the process of transfer, as well as the exquisite nature of creating something that becomes itself:† this paper will hold most of those same marks unchanged until whenever... but Annette will change and die, just as I will; our only memorial will be the relationship which we create unwittingly between ourselves now
18†† DAY. INT. STUDIO. MORGAN. ANNETTE
MUSIC plays in B/G
Annette likes this music.† Without moving she says:
What's that ?
Thought it was.
What do you like....? In music, I mean
Oh, anything really, but I like Beethoven
I have some here, somewhere
We can have that next
Are you surprised that I listen to that sort of music?
...Iím too busy scratching away to answer.
Annette stands there rather cold.† One shoulder is just beginning to droop.† with a tight gesture she smoothes along her flank and down her belly as I change position.
"I wonder what she's thinking ?"
MUSIC has stopped.
...well, no, not exactly
Did you learn music?
I've got it at Aílevel
Well, I really mean to go back to college eventually
What's it like?
.... .....I'm at a particularly difficult stage and my line is beginning to wobble.† There is silence for the next few minutes while I straighten-out the drawing. Time has already changed us.:
God, I feel so mangled today.
Her flank is firm and elastic and slightly tan.† She has fine strong† legs. So, even Annette feels that she constantly changes ... I wonder in which unconscious ways.......†† The light has changed, the Sun has begun to duck its orbit and transit another time away from us.† There is a moment of panic and loss.† That's when the Sun ducks down like a breaking yolk puncturing itself upon the horizon's spike: after all that is maybe the last moment we will always know for sure.
SOUND FADES TO:
19††††† MONTAGE OF KELLY
I like to pose.† I have a talent for it. That's what it is.
First I posed for some pictures, you know, snaps.
Half the strippers I know describe themselves as 'Miss Fascination' or use names like that.† And they always call themselves 'Dancers'.† That must mean something.† I mean, how do you start in the Glamour Business ?.
I could make lots of money working as a stripper, you know, just dancing and doing what I'd spent ages on. Then I started to go down the Clubs, just now and again.One day I was going to one on my own, like, down in Soho off Wardour Street, when I passed one of those strip clubs.† Just on an impulse that I'd had lots of times before, I plucked up my courage and walked straight in.
You have to learn to strip. After all, if you give it all away too fast you'll have to think of something really radical, like sitting on a bottle.† I've done that a few times to make the audience react, after a few drinks.† The money was reasonable too. On summer days I only needed to wear a dress and rush from club to club.† Then I'd put on the G-String and Bra, bump and grind a bit, take them off again and then rush on to the next club.You don't wear anything if you can avoid it because it marks you, you see. Stripping added up moneywise at the time.But the problem I hadn't seen was that you get used to the money, without realising it.That way I got into the 'photos.† It was weird to have ghouls leer at you having sex with other ghouls
It sort of put men in perspective, you know what I mean ?
At that time, a friend of mine suggested we should go swimming one night.† We did that just to keep fit, you understand.† Stripping doesn't keep you really fit, you never do enough of it !
Anyway at the pool I noticed another girl's eyes on me, and the thought gave me a special pleasure that I hadn't known before.
Then,† when I was showering, the same girl walked through and I felt my skin harden in some sort of anticipation. †I thought about that and it gave me a special sort of feeling which I hadn't had before. The next week my friend and I went swimming again, but I didn't feel those eyes on me for several weeks. I forgot the pleasure of that privileged sort of feeling. Then one evening I was there by myself, as my friend couldn't make it that evening.† Then I noticed this other girl.† That was, I noticed the way she looked at me.
She'd been looking at me - then suddenly spoke to me,† and my body kind of blushed in pride of some sort:† suddenly I was desirable after all those lonely days and...In the shower she turned up, sort of by coincidence, and we just continued talking, so when we went out into the bar together I felt good.
When she looked at me it was as if she had confidence in my ability to be desirable: suddenly I felt great!. So I drank quite a lot that night.† I had this wonderful, almost vain, desirability about me.† I was suddenly all proud of who I was.† Suddenly I didn't enjoy men's eyes on me so much.
She was some kind of actress in films or something: when I was with her I felt proud of myself: and she soon showed me how to satisfy her in bed: there're no boundaries between women.† Not like that.
Pretty soon I didn't want to be with anybody else but her: but it was inevitable I suppose at that age, that someone more experienced and less shy should come along and unseat me.† It was inevitable, I suppose.† But it didn't feel that way at all, the hurt still lingers;† I only suspected something going on because I guess she didn't have the heart to tell me right way.† I don't know if that made it more or less painful, but it was inevitable that she should drift away, as I said. Well.
Actually I found them in bed together one day.
I was so hurt to hear someone else moaning and laughing that I can't ever describe it. I punched at her in fury and she caught my hand, then I screamed and raved in tears.† She'd managed to blow a hole in my feelings: which† really made me mad.
It was like being bathed in flames: I lost all my skin, like.† That's how it felt. Terrible. That's the loneliness of loving, isn't it?† And now in my life, though, is the loneliness of other things.† I know I'm beginning to age, just a bit: I once said to my lover Annette:
"I'm missing the bus" and she said:
"That isn't true - you're beautiful - I love you anway!Ē
But loving anyone doesn't last, just like beauty, or even cash... and the combination of the two lasts even less.† That makes me really scared, that's all.† I'm going to have to sort out a few things in my life, that's all, about life and beauty and loving and the worst catch, time.† That's where we all get defeated.† Somewhere along the line I've blown it, but I can't just think why. I'm in bed and it's just after dawn, which is bright, cold† and yellow: now, beside me, Annette has moved, and her skin shows a little gooseflesh.† But she's not cold, she has hardly shifted.† She says something in her sleep and her hair golden, bronze, flaxen, against the (colour) of the pillowcase.† How beautiful she is.† I must always remember to enjoy my time with her.† Meantime her hair is gold, pure sunshine gold.
20††† MONTAGE/ INT. DAY. MORGAN
MORGANíS V.O to himself:
21††† PROCESS. MORGAN
†††††††††††††††††† Saturday *
I checked my mail as I came through the studio door this morning.† Fortunately, there wasn't any, which I expected, only a note telling me that I owed the landlord a months rent. I've never received a letter to this address, which is my aim; after all LeSquare and the studio are my secrets, the only secrets that I have.
The block which contains this studio is shared with a whole series of other organisations and individuals who cluster around LeSquare as if seeking some sort of collective, corporate warmth.
Whether they get what they want or not, I don't know because I am only a satellite here, a receiving station, remote in the Antarctic Artistic Attic.
But today it is Summer, Broad Summer.
The new model. Actually my only model. Blue eyes, though; I like blue eyes. †She's slim and quite tall, and a little shy.
I sit her down.
22 ††††INT. DAY. STUDIO. MORGAN
Can I get you a coffee or something
Are you Okay... comfortable?
What's your name.. Iím Morgan
Okay - Oh† - Iím Annette
She reaches out a hand to shake his..
Do you want me to pose now ?
She has already dropped her coat, and now I am secretly curious as she removes first her blouse, then her skirt, and folds them neatly before removing her bra, a front-loader,† which is quite nice; and then she straightens up and says
Would you like me in the suspenders ?
MORGAN works on. FADE to later:
Would you like me any other way
Yes, if you like
ANNETTE. MORGAN, V,O:
She walks to her coat and finds a diminutive thong, a silken lacy pouch, there in the pocket, which she slips-on without a word She wants a more restful position for a long pose and so lies upon the table with her back arched and her right leg outstretched, the left one flapping open and closed as if it were hinged.† She knows that this is the way one sometimes has sex, and she is beginning to see that she can control me, even if I don't.
A change: this is a terrific pose: she is grasping the pipe that runs along the break of the wall with her hands, and stooping back slightly so that she can peek out of the canted studio window without anyone suspecting she's there; her right leg is back and her left leg crooked slightly, while her back is slightly curved: graceful.
She looks like a real, warm, human swan.† Her black hair falls towards her shoulders as she bends her head forwards.† She really is quite beautiful, with those deep blue eyes against the parchment skin. Now Iím playing at drawing, simply drinking-in her natural beauty.
When she leaves she turns and thanks me.
How nice it was to draw her; what a privilege.
23††† PROCESS: V.O. ANNETTE as LERSVEYOPU
It was on the 2nd, or was it the 7th February
that year?.. that it came to me.
Oh, not the incessant baying of wolves, nor
for that matter the sound of the wind as the
snow pattered down over the frozen pines, but
rather a thought of such amazing tenderness
that it quite took me aback.
She said: Now take me in your arms and simply lay me down and be my love and.. But then He said: Ah! Yes, but the very moment I do you'll...
Oh, Screw this up and and throw it away!
24†††† PROCESS: MORGAN
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MORGANS V.O.
All morning they were asking for :
So I've done a bunk, and it's afternoon.
I'm having a shower at my flat, having used seeing the the Ad Manager for the Pantone account for my latest excuse, and it being hot, I've sloped off home to cool down and prevent myself from bringing up the whole of that business lunch.† Tasteless, though Duck and Mandarin cooking.† Shame.
The phone rings and I've left the handset in the lounge, so I have to traverse the length of the flat.
The voice is cockney accented and quite deep:† she says:
"I'm a model ... are you looking for a model?"
Amazing how you suddenly get two at a† time.
It's† a problem finding good models, so I make an arrangement to meet her at the studio on Saturday morning, when the place is quiet.† She doesn't ask about the money, so that's a bit strange, but I'll see then, anyway.†† I don't recall giving her the address, but perhaps I did without realising it.† she doesn't leave her name either, but she'll probably make one up, most of them seem to.†† Well, that's the name of the game.
25†††††† DAY. INT. STUDIO. MORGAN. KELLY
I'm tired after a hot and bothersome week, but I've promised to be at my studio, so I get into the car and drive automatically, not thinking of anything.† The streets are very quiet and I get there really early.
She arrives early too: I've left the doors open, so suddenly while I'm immersed in The Independant, she is at my elbow.† Just a hint of breeze.
She's bright and breezy: I don't know how, so early in the day.† I sit her down and make a cup of coffee or something for her.† I've bought a couple of bagels, I offer her one, she nibbles at it but never actually eats it.† Says it's her diet.†† I light a Gitane; she shrivels her nose:
D'you smoke all the time ... those
Only in the mornings, to clear my head
We talk about the rate for the job.† She seems very easy about it, probablyfilling-in from other jobs.† Happy about weekends too.
She's 5 foot 10 tall, well shaped.† She takes off her clothes to show me
26†††† DAY. INT. STUDIO. MORGAN. KELLY
Can I move around
Well of course you can
She moves like a dancer, rhythms running down her limbs.† What a beauty she is!Ö.. And then she's gone.
27†††† INT. DAY. AGENCY
All day in The Agency they yatter over the plan. The Plan.† Well, what about it, for as far as I know, the damn plan is of the greatest irrelevance to me: they can plan all they want but that does not change a single little thing, the world does not cease to turn, and the last vestiges of light still linger over the high floors where my studio hides over the Square.
I collect my impressions as some sort of a list that can be scribbled down the side of a work sheet:† I have them here:
Which of them is it?† Mysteriously, I can see them both, those unlikely twins with their cloned eyes, in the lagoon of my thoughts.
28††††† INT. NIGHT. FLORIANS. MORGAN.
This has disturbed me, so much so that I spend Saturday night in Florians at Crouch End, drinking myself into nirvana.† It's simpler that way, after all.† You don't have to think, and the company is always well, unexpected.
SOUND FADES TO:
29†† INT. NIGHT. FLORIANS. MORGAN.
I like to pose.† I have a talent for it. That's what it is.
I don't know exactly how it started, but I'll try and trace it.When I was 17, like everyone else I was itching to get started; well everyone is at that age and I wasn't going to be different.† Virginity is something most girls want to get rid of as soon as possible. Well, then there's status, too, so you can imagine that I was really proud when I got myself what all the other girls called a 'Steady'.† They cooed and umm'd and ahh'd and looked jealous because he was six years older than me and that seemed a hell of a lot, why, he was almost old, experienced too.† What status that gave me !† They asked me questions like "What's he like in Bed ?" and "Tell me what it feels like", you know, curiosity.† That was the sticking point. Because I didn't know any of those things, of course, so, after the first euphoria had worn off, I realised that keeping him satisfied, you know, like sex-wise......