Friday, November 30, 2012
SHIPS IN THE NIGHT # 4
Given that I have been banned by Screen Australia and that this project is dead in the water as far as SA is concerned if my name is in any way associated with it, I am confronted with two options: (1) Sell the screenplay to another filmmaker and let him or her do what they like with it or (2) Make the film for no budget at all using unpaid amateur actors. Option (2) is not really desirable (though I will pursue it if necessary) as this film (dialogue and character-driven) requires first class acting. My publishing the first part of the screenplay online is, in part, an attempt on my part to see if a filmmaker is interested in acquiring the rights.
…continuing on from SHIPS IN THE NIGHT #3...
16 INT CAB. NIGHT
sits in the passenger seat studying him. TRACY
MATT Lousy judge of character.
MATT Leaping to the conclusion that…
MATT Guess I’ll find out soon enough.
MATT Not too many…but too many. Had a couple tonight.
MATT No, a ‘couple’. As is boy and girl. About your age. Lovers.
MATT ‘Fraid not. (A BEAT) Matt.
TRACY Complex and convoluted, ay, Matt! Love?
MATT laughs, looks at her.
MATT (laughs) Hadn’t picked you as someone who would use a word like ‘convoluted’.
TRACY Yes, from the Latin ‘convolvere’…
MATT (incredulous)You do Latin at school!?
MATT (laughs) You got a pause button,
TRACY Nup, just fast forward, Matt.
The muffled sound of a rooster crowing emanates from the pocket of Matt’s jacket. MATT takes the mobile from his pocket, looks at the screen, puts it back in his pocket.
MATT Can I ask you a question?
TRACY A personal question?
MATT I guess.
MATT (nods) How can your dad know you all your life and not know he’s your dad?
MATT nods, smiles to himself.
TRACY Do passengers…like…tell taxi drivers all sorts of personal stuff? You know, like secrets and shit? (MATT NODS) But if you had a choice, they’d keep their mouths shut, right?
zips her mouth shut, pauses a moment before starting up again. TRACY
MATT Most people love to talk about themselves.
MATT You like to talk about yourself?
MATT I don’t know…I guess, maybe…and no?
MATT Too much of a good thing?
TRACY Too much of something. Way too much! You ever get, like, you know, bored with being fascinated by yourself?
MATT When I was young, maybe.
TRACY How old are you, Matt? (A BEAT) Old enough to be my dad, I reckon.
MATT I’m not. (A BEAT) Your dad, I mean.
MATT Least I don’t think I am! What’s your mum’s name?
MATT As in merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, gently down the stream?
TRACY But with only one r. And ‘gentle’s’ not a word I’d use to describe mum!
MATT Nup, don’t remember any Merily.
TRACY Can you remember all the women you’ve slept with?
MATT raises his eyebrows; doesn’t answer.
TRACY Maybe there’s a little Matt out there somewhere with your genes. Or a little Matilda. Wondering who her dad is. You ever think about that?
MATT shakes his head.
MATT looks at
. Her smile betrays her vulnerability. TRACY
MATT A young girl like you?
The muffled sound of a rooster crowing again. MATT ignores it.
MATT You still at school?
MATT You a good student?
MATT Are you?
TRACY Not ‘good’, but I do well in exams.
MATT Any idea what you want to do when…?
MATT Yeah, but…you’re so full of questions I was thinking…maybe…journalist, private eye…therapist…
Wanna know why?
MATT You’re going to tell me anyway, right?
MATT Why do you need to see a shrink?
TRACY Well The Rapist thought it was pathological and The Shrink thinks it’s just obsessive-compulsive.
MATT What is?
MATT is dumbfounded, tries to think of something to say but nothing occurs to him. The beginnings of a smile appear at the edges of
’S lips. When MATT glances at her, TRACY ’S smile broadens and becomes a laugh. TRACY
MATT There’s a difference?
MATT So you can’t stop yourself lying?
TRACY If I want to. It’s just mostly I don’t want to.
MATT What kind of lies?
TRACY Oh, telling taxi drivers that I’ve lost my wallet…that I’m a nymphomaniac.
MATT So, you haven’t lost your wallet and you’re not a nymphomaniac?
MATT Which one?
TRACY If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me.
MATT Because you’re a pathological liar?
MATT looks at her, smiles, shakes his head.
TRACY If I lived in Cronulla, would you’ve given me a ride even if you thought I was going to do a runner?
MATT Nah! I’m a millionaire, driving a taxi for fun…ay!
TRACY Lucky you got a fun-loving passenger.
MATT Who shouldn’t be out looking for fun at this time of night.
MATT A good night’s sleep.
MATT laughs, shakes his head.
MATT I reckon the boiling oil’d be less painful.
MATT It’s a rooster.
MATT How old are you,
MATT looks at her. It is difficult to read his thoughts.
MATT You make a habit of talking to taxi drivers like this?
MATT You could get yourself into a lot of trouble joking like that.
TRACY Yay! Trouble rules, ay! (A BEAT) But if I wasn’t joking, would you be able to resist…the temptation?
MATT looks at her, his face giving nothing away.
! You talk this way with total strangers, dressed like that… Tracy
MATT holds up his hands: OK. She looks out the window, plays with her hair nervously. MATT watches her.
TRACY Sorry, but…I’ve had a shit night.
MATT Me too.
TRACY Bet mine was shittier than yours.
MATT Mine’s been pretty shitty.
TRACY Even before I got in? (A BEAT) You probably think I’m mad, ay?
MATT As a cut snake.
MATT No, a little unusual, maybe…
MATT smiles but says nothing.
MATT Do you think you’re peculiar?
MATT It’s everybody else that’s peculiar?
MATT nods. The muffled sound of a rooster crowing emanates from Matt’s sport’s jacket pocket again.
TRACY Who’s driving you crazy this time of night apart from me?
MATT clearly does not want to pursue this line of conversation.
zips her mouth shut, looks at the pocket of MATT’S jacket. The ringing stops. She looks at MATT’S face, his jaw clenched tight. Suddenly she leans over, reaches into the pocket of MATT’S jacket, extracts his mobile. TRACY
TRACY Hey, same as mine.
MATT (annoyed) Give it to me, Tracy!
MATT reaches for his mobile. TRACY slides out of reach, holds up her mobile in one hand, Matt’s in the other: Identical.
MATT (angry) I’m serious. Give it to me.
MATT’S breathing is deep, rapid.
MATT holds out his hand, snaps angrily at her.
MATT Give me the fucking phone…
MATT swerves on the road as he reaches out to grab his phone. The cab screeches to a halt.
, oblivious to being thrown up against the dash when the car suddenly stops, ploughs on: TRACY
MATT, more than a little out of control, wrestles with
to get his phone back. He succeeds, but his grip is not firm and it drops to the floor – along with TRACY ’s phone and her hand bag. Tracy is shocked and hurt by this moment of anger in MATT – a moment that he is already regretting. TRACY
MATT I’m sorry, Tracy…So so sorry…
In a highly emotional state
picks her hand bag up from the floor, puts into it the items that have fallen out. TRACY
TRACY Why are you driving me home when Juliet needs you?
MATT wants to say something, but he is at a loss what! He reaches out to her.
recoils, holds up her hands. TRACY
She opens the door, gets out of the cab.
MATT Don’t! Please,
17 EXT. CAB. ROADSIDE. NIGHT
MATT Please! I’m sorry. I…
She stops, turns, looks at MATT from the shadows, expecting something. MATT shakes his head. He has no understanding of what is going on. He is in unchartered emotional territory.
MATT I don’t know…I’m so fucking…I even thought of asking…but no I can…
MATT looks at
, immobile in the shadows. Frozen. The silence is deafening. Then the soft sound of TRACY crying. TRACY
He takes a tentative step towards her. Then another. He is close to her now. She looks up at him, her eyes filled with her need. She leans toward MATT. He opens his arms. She falls into them, holds him tight. MATT’S face is a battleground of emotions. Suddenly
yelps like a wounded animal, pushes him away, turns and run off. MATT shouts after her. TRACY
She is gone. MATT stands alone in the dark, shaking. He tries to control his deep rapid breathing; puts his wounded hand on his heart, sees that his knuckles are bleeding again. He wipes his moist eyes, walks back to the cab, around to the driver’s side, looks at the crack in the window. It has grown a couple of inches and now has three small branches, tributaries. He reaches into his pocket for his mobile. It is not there. He remembers, moves to the open passenger door, reaches down and picks it up from the floor. He opens the keypad, types ‘J’, then ‘U’, pauses. Nothing happens. He types ‘L’, pauses, then ‘I’. He is puzzled now. The mobile rings but it is not the crowing of a rooster. It is the distinctive sound of
’s mobile. MATT presses the appropriate icon. Onscreen, the image of: Tracy
A naked young man with curly red hair, his hands joined to conceal his genitals. It is BLUE, the young red-headed man from the opening sequence. The frozen image comes to life.
He opens his arms wide, revealing a codpiece in the shape of an elephant’s head – replete with big ears and, of course, a trunk!
BLUE Love you heaps!
…to be continued…