“Paint” Screenplay: Fang Conflict Expunged

DAVIS lies half conscious on the porch of the frat house and stares up into the tree branches above. KATHRYN beside him, stroking his head.20140503_132439The front door swings open. MAX, FANG, (KATHRYN’s ex-boyfriend), others behind come outside.

MAX (Seeing DAVIS and KATHRYN): Jesus, Davis.

FANG: What the fuck?

DAVIS struggles to get up but is too light-headed.

FANG (To KATHRYN): What is this?

KATHRYN (To FANG): What do you care?

DAVIS (Struggling to sit up) It’s not like…(Giving up) Shit.

FANG: (To DAVIS): You are such an asshole, such an asshole. (Pause) You’re a complete fucking failure, you know that?

DAVIS (Muttering): Hey, I just blacked out, man.

FANG (Jutting his jaw out, spittle forming at the corners of his mouth): There is no one more worthy of scorn than you. No one!

DAVIS notices the gathering crowd and sees ELLEN in the back. 20140504_021420FANG: (Turning, seeing ELLEN as well) You like her? Yeah?! You want to know something, man? You will never have her. You will never have anyone. You don’t deserve anyone! You will die alone.

DAVIS (To ELLEN): She’s not my girlfriend.

FANG: Why are you talking?! Why the fuck are you speaking?

DAVIS sees ELLEN leave as FANG steps toward him and slaps him in the face.

FANG: You are a stupid irrelevant fuck!

DAVIS: Holy shit, man. Calm down.

DAVIS tries to laugh but fails miserably as he feels the nausea well up again and falls back to stare up into the branches.

Ice Friday: Moravia on Being Rich

Alberto Moravia’s novel Boredom follows Dino, a struggling artist, in his attempts to escape the burden of his family’s wealth.

I asked: “Well then, are we rich or are we not?” 

For a moment my mother sat silent, looking at me with a strange solemnity. Then, leaning toward me and lowering her voice, she said: “We are not rich, Dino, we are very rich. Thanks to your mother, you are a very rich man.”
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“What does ‘very rich’ mean?”

“‘Very rich’ means something more than merely ‘rich’.”

“But less than ‘extremely rich’?”

“Yes, less than ‘extremely rich’.” IMG_4829As I examined the faces of my mother’s guests, I suddenly had a strong feeling that there was not one wrinkle, not one inflection of the voice, not one ripple of laughter,not a single feature, in fact, that was not directly determined by the money which, as the fat old man had said, was represented by the guests in that room, in greater or lesser quantity. Yes, I thought, in that crowd, money had turned into flesh and blood.

Not a Soldier Monkey

I had a dream that I was a soldier in the wings of a stage. I was waiting with other soldiers as I practiced my line: “We’d like a drink.” I was practicing that in my head when I noticed I was surrounded by peasants, small and young; the other soldiers were gone. I flailed at the black curtains and saw the other soldiers on stage and leapt behind them just as the Innkeeper said, “Vodka?” That was the line after mine.
20140204_185000I retreated to the corner to watch the drunken dancing unfold and thought. I am a person.  I am not a monkey. I don’t look like a monkey. I don’t smell like a monkey. I don’t do anything like a monkey. I don’t know what I am . I just know what I’m not. I’m not a monkey.

Jafar Panahi’s “Taxi”: Marvelously Sordid

I finished a bag of chips as we started to watch Jafar Panahi’s Taxi. I was about to get up and throw it away but waited.

The opening shot held too much promise, a point of view from Panahi’s car as he started through Tehran. I folded the bag and held it tight.Screenshot (65)There is so very much to say about Panahi’s film Taxi – searing political statement, marvel in story-telling, profound celebration of life, comic odyssey into sordid realism (a phrase repeated throughout) – but what struck me most is the advice given by Panahi to a prospective filmmaker who sits in the back of the car. Screenshot (53)After being told that the young man had read many books but could not find a good subject for a film, Panahi replies: “Those films are already made, those books already written. You have to look elsewhere.” Screenshot (68)If only Hollywood and the rest of the film-making world would listen to that; it’s the ideas that matter and not the budget. Imagine what the Oscars might look like then, with none of the Mad Max, Gravity, Lord of the Rings nonsense. Actual films instead…what a world that could be.

The film ended as suddenly as it had began, the camera removed, the screen now black. I realized that I still held the plastic bag tight and, at long last, stood to throw it away.

Soshkinov’s Goal: A Beautiful Thing

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded away the majority of veteran players over the past season  to begin anew.

On Monday, February 29, four young players had their NHL debuts: Connor Carrick (21), Kasperi Kapanen (19), William Nylander (19), Nikita Soshkinov (22). Soshkinov was the first of the rookies to score, two days later, on March 2 against the Washington Capitals. Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.46.02 AMScreen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.45.20 AM

It was a beautiful thing.

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 9.45.01 AMAnd so it begins anew.

Phallic Effigies

There was something marvelous about what she did. It was almost a breakthrough, how sexuality wasn’t such a thing, that an erect penis was just that, no more than an effective device in a situation comedy, like wide eyes or a gaping mouth. It was funny, the way he sat there with it sticking up. It was funnier how she grabbed it to let him know that he was accepted. But then it was something else when he did the same, the roommate, putting it in his mouth. I mean, I thought it was surprising but funny too. Most people did not. It was a scandal. Screenshot (46)There was screaming and yelling. People went into the street. I watched for a moment and then went alongside and then ahead of the crowd, only just. They were coming out of the side streets across the wide boulevards, all of them down to the old freeway. The concrete posts stood like an obliterated forest. That’s where they were, whatever those things were called, effigies, I guess, standing above us like Easter Island heads. 20150418_155046It really looked like they would talk. But there were just too many people, most of them still screaming, and I lost interest and went back to the hotel. It was better going the other way. And they were still there. His penis was the same.