Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Mississauga




[CAMERA… While the credits are rolling, the camera pans across a desk. The desk is messy. On it as permanent features are: a half empty cup of black coffee, an ashtray with cigarette butts spilling over onto the desk, a baseball, a paper mache vase made by a child with plastic flowers in it, several framed pictures containing members of a family, a computer, a monitor running a screen saver, a Save the Seals button, a couple of pens, a laundry receipt, and a clear plastic candy wrapper. Photographs of the main characters of our drama are paper-clipped to folders scattered across the desk. One folder is open. The main character David Faster smiles at the camera. The page opposite is marked up in red ink.

[MUSIC… a harmonica piece in the vein of the Rockford Files plays in the background. Overheard is a taped audio message from the School Board describing Mr. Faster’s supply teaching assignment for that day.
“Today you will be assigned a grade nine history class. Make sure you bring your own lunch. Once inside Our Lady of Wisdom, you will not be permitted to leave until the end of the school day.”
[CAMERA… After the credits have appeared the screen cuts to white and then slowly copy begins to roll up the screen:

“Government has too long been left
the sole responsibility for the education
of the young people of our province.
The private sector has a role to play
in the future of our nation.
Where better to mould the minds, skills and souls
of our children than in the market place.
The future is too precious to do any less.”
Assistant to the Deputy
Minister of Education
Province of Ontario, 1995


[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to CLOSE UP of Faster’s face. The shot is granular at first like an old black and white photograph that has been yellowed. It begins to clear.

CUT to MEDIUM SHOT… Faster is sitting on the edge of a cot. Behind him on the wall is a poster of an open window. A smile flickers across his face. He raises his finger to his nose, hesitates, scratches the side of his nose. Faster gestures to someone off camera. Someone throws him a cigarette which he deftly catches. Someone throws him a package of matches which he does not catch. He picks the matches up off the floor and lights his cigarette.

FASTER: “When I arrived in Hamilton, I was met at the train station by Mr. Roberto Lancherz, the Sandman’s associate in the Golden Horseshoe and a superintendent of the local school system. Lancherz is a tall chap with brooding good looks and a heavy Spanish accent. He is one of those people whose charm and good humour makes him attractive to both sexes.”
[CAMERA… CUT to CLOSE UP of the middle-aged handsome Lancherz practicing various smiles in front of a mirror.

CUT back to Faster in his cell

FASTER: “Over dinner, Lancherz informed me that the Sandman would be coming to Hamilton. I was very excited by the prospects of finally meeting the great man. Wherever I traveled in southern Ontario, I could feel the presence of the man’s power. The very breath of the man seemed to hang over every conversation.”
[CAMERA… CUT to lobby of hotel where Ellen Ellery is dragging a suitcase to the front desk. Faster hides behind Lancherz. Ellen passed by them.

FASTER: “As I was checking into my hotel, I spotted Ellen coming into the lobby. Lancherz seemed amused as I hid behind him. He led me into the hotel bar which he assured me was off limits to women until 5 o’clock. That did not stop Ellen from bursting in upon us.”
[CAMERA… CUT to long shot of Ellen Ellery rushing up to Faster at the bar and giving him a big hug. Faster’s arms are pinned to his side. There is a look about Faster of the deer caught in a car’s headlights. Immediately Ellen orders a round of drinks, lights up a cigarette, grabs Lancherz’s hand and shakes it. Faster turns to the camera.

FASTER: “Lancherz, thinking that Ellen was a friend of mine, asked her join us for dinner. Ellen accepted. Lancherz did not realize that Ellen was a journalist and unfortunately spoke about matters better left unsaid.”
[CAMERA… CUT to an Indian restaurant, not an east the jewel of the empire restaurant but a native Canadian restaurant called The Mississauga where Ellen, Lancherz, Faster, and Lancherz’s wife Marie are seated. Lancherz has only eyes for Ellen while Marie is busy reading Ellen’s palm. Faster turns and addresses the camera in whispers.

FASTER: “Accompanied by Lancherz’s charming wife we visited a local Indian restaurant. What a gracious host, Mrs. Lancherz proved to be. She is so refined, so elegant in every gesture and manner. Lancherz and Ellen seemed to hit it off. I could tell by Ellen’s eyes that she felt she was on the scent of a big story. While the two ladies were in the powder room, Lancherz mentioned how impressed he was with Ellen. I warned him that she was not to be trusted. I couldn’t be sure if Lancherz appreciated the seriousness of my alarm. I believe he may have misinterpreted my remarks as jealousy.”
[CAMERA… CUT to golf course. Faster is up to his knees in a stream looking for his ball. Lancherz sits patiently on a golf cart smoking a cigarette. Faster finds a ball and smiles at the camera. He throws the ball off to one side where a half dozen other balls are collected.

CUT to medium shot of Faster in the stream.. He speaks to the camera.

FASTER: “On Thursday, I played golf with Lancherz. The game looks so easy on television. Lancherz was quite put off by my insistence on using a putter for every shot. My only previous experience with golf had been mini-golf at which I was something of an expert. The windmill is a real challenge.”
[CAMERA… CUT to various places on the golf course where a series of golfers are ducking as Faster’s ball goes whizzing passed them.

CUT to MEDIUM SHOT of Faster being held by two golfers as a third punches him out.

CUT to MEDIUM SHOT… Lancherz sits patiently on a golf cart smoking a cigarette.



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to CLOSE-UP of Faster’s hotel door where a set of rules have been listed. As Faster reads each rule a short scene from a movie, acted out by the characters in the story, is shown.

FASTER: “Number 1. Acts of social intercourse between consenting adults may not be engaged in after midnight.”

[CAMERA… Scene from movie Scarface with Al Pacino. This is the scene in the film where Pacino’s comrad is in the shower, his hands tied above his head to the shower nozzle as one of the bad guys has a chain saw. In this scene Mr. Djagera is the one tied up. The bad guy holding the chain saw is Lewis. The woman watching is Maria Lancherz.

There is a CLOSE-UP of Djagera’s face. He is screaming. The chain saw roars.

CUT to shot of Marie smiling. Blood is sprayed across her grin. She licks her lips.

FASTER: “Number 2. The chain and lock on your door, the small peep hole in the door, and the can of room deodorizer are provided for your security needs.”

[CAMERA… Scene from the movie The Shining with Jack Nicholson and Shelly Duval. In this particular scene Nicholson has an axe and is breaking down the door of a room to get at his wife and child. The part of Nicholson is played Paul Man. Colline, one of the models, plays the Shelly Duval role. The child is played by the Sandman. Paul Man smashes a hole in the door with his axe. Colline clutches the Sandman to her breast as they huddle terrified in the corner. Paul Man sticks his head through the hole he has created.
COLLINE: screams
PAUL MAN: “Pizza!”

FASTER: “Number 3. No political activity or activity that could be interpreted as a political activity should be discussed or organized while a tenant of this hotel.”

[CAMERA… Any number of black and white movies where someone is being prepared for execution in the electric chair. David Faster is the convict being readied to electrocute. Bill Marvellous plays the priest standing to one side holding a prayer book. The two cops strapping Faster in are Ron Howl and the one legged vender. The cop standing by the switch behind Faster is the spiked hair student named Laura.
FASTER: “Honest, I really have to go!”

FASTER: “Number 4. You are requested not to leave false teeth, batteries, jewelry or other valuables in your room as the hotel will not be held responsible for the loss of such items.”

[CAMERA… The movie, Murder by Decree, with Christopher Plummer and James Mason. In this particular scene Jack the Ripper is tearing apart one of his victims in a small apartment. Jack the Ripper is played by the Sandman. The victim is played by Miss Leigh. The Sandman plunges his knife into Miss Leigh’s stomach. With his hand he reaches inside her and pulls out a watch.
MISS LEIGH: “Thank you. I thought I’d lost it. It was a Christmas present from my granny.”

FASTER: “Number 5. No pets are allowed in a guest’s room.”

[CAMERA… The movie, King Kong, with Robert Armstrong and Fay Wray. In this particular scene King Kong is reaching through a window into a hotel room to grab Fay Wray. Paul Man plays King Kong. Fay Wray is played by David Faster.
FASTER: “There’s nothing wrong with my prostrate gland!”

FASTER: “Number 6. In case of EMERGENCY, dial 764-38-39 and ask for extension 17.”

[CAMERA… Custard’s Last Stand. A few last soldiers are fighting off the Sioux. A private soldier played by Ron Howl turns to Custard, played by Bill Marvellous.
HOWL: “Is help coming?”
MARVELLOUS takes out a cell phone and dials EMERGENCY.
CUT TO shot of Sitting Bull played by Mr. Djagera. He takes out his cell phone.
DJAGERA: “Hello. Can I help you?”

FASTER: “Number 7. You are requested to settle your account with the hotel before noon each day. Outstanding accounts will be prosecuted.”

[CAMERA… The movie is the Maltese Falcon. Bogart, played by Ron Howl, is sitting at a couch having a drink with Greenstreet, played by Bill Marvellous. Howl looks at his drink which he begins to realize has been drugged. He attempts to get up, loses his balance and falls to the floor. Marvellous chuckles and rises to his feet. One of his colleagues, the kid played by Faster, comes in from another room, sees Howl on the floor, and kicks Howl in the head.
HOWL mutters before he passes out: “It’s going to rain tomorrow. Always rains when I feel a migraine coming on.”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to LONG SHOT of hotel lobby where Faster is met by one Roberto Lancherz and conducted to the front desk where Faster registers. Faster is offered a cigarette from a gold cigarette case which Lancherz produces from his jacket pocket. Faster politely refuses. Lancherz lights up a cigarette.

CUT to MEDIUM SHOT of Lancherz and Faster talking.

LANCHERZ: “Kirtz! After all this time, you are back. I thought you were going to remain in that vile stinking infested continent forever. The wife is always talking about you. When is Kirtz coming home? she asks. And I have no answer. There is something going on between you two, my dear old friend. Don’t deny it! I can refuse you nothing. You are the son Maria did not carry to term. I thought we had lost you to the soul of the dark continent. But now you return like a prodigal son. Kirtz! The hills are alive with the sound of Kirtz!”
FASTER: “Mr. Lancherz, there’s been…”
LANCHERZ: “Make it like the old day, my trusted dear friend. Call me Folden.”
FASTER: “Folden?”
LANCHERZ laughs: “Folden Lancherz!”
FASTER: Oh yes, I see. A joke. I’m not very… “
LANCHERZ: “How you used to laugh at my little jokes, your little chest shaking with joy. It brought such… joy to my heart. But your letters drove us crazy. Kirtz, all this talk about the darkness in the twentieth century. This is the age of the electric light bulb, my Kirtz. The age of television, home computers, camcorders. How could you describe it as the age of unenlightenment?”
FASTER: “Mr. Lancherz, I must insist. There’s been a mistake.”
LANCHERZ: “Mistake?”
FASTER: “My name is Faster, David Faster. I am not Kirtz. I do not know anyone named Kirtz.”
LANCHERZ: “Not Kirtz!”
FASTER: “Faster.”
[CAMERA… Lancherz takes out a pair of glasses from his pocket and puts them on. For a minute or so he examines Faster then returns his glasses to his pocket.

LANCHERZ: “You are not Kirtz.”
FASTER: “No, sir.”
LANCHERZ: “You could pass for his twin. You even smell like Kirtz. Ah, lavendar! Do you speak German?”
FASTER: “I’m sorry to be such a disappointment. It was my understanding that Mr. Sandman had informed you of my arrival.”
LANCHERZ: “Yes, I see now. You are the young fellow from Marvellous Educational Supplies and Services. Welcome to Hamilton, our city by the bay. Maria will be disappointed. There was such joy in our house when the Kirtz walked its hallways.”
FASTER: “I am very happy to be here. Those stacks from the steel mill are quite a sight. I couldn’t keep my eyes off them.”
LANCHERZ: “Ah, yes. We Hamiltonians boast that we are the city that is well hung. We have much to discuss. As the superintendent of schools I think I can expose you to some exciting business opportunities. Education is not just about expanding young minds; it is about future market places.”
[CAMERA… Faster spots Ellen Ellery entering the hotel lobby. He hides behind Lancherz. Lancherz looks around with a bemused smile.

LANCHERZ: “What is it, my dear friend?”
FASTER: “You see that woman entering the hotel?”
LANCHERZ: “Yes. She is quite a beauty.”
FASTER: “I would like to avoid her.”
LANCHERZ: “Ah! Romantic intrigue. You are beginning to interest me, Mr. David Faster. I think you are more like Kirtz than you can imagine.”
FASTER: “Is there some place we can hide?”
[CAMERA… LONG SHOT… Lancherz and Faster enter the bar. Lancherz orders a couple of drinks. Before Faster is able to explain his flight from Ellen Ellery, Ellen strolls into the bar and noticing David, rushes up to him. She stands over him with her arms outstretched. Reluctantly Faster rises and Ellen gives him a hug. Ellen turns to Lancherz.

ELLEN: “Aren’t you going to introduce me, David?”
LANCHERZ: “Roberto Lancherz at your service, madam.”
ELLEN: “Ellen Ellery waiting to be serviced.”
[CAMERA… Ellen and Lancherz shake hands. The three sit down.
LANCHERZ laughs: “Oh, madam! Such a sense of humour. Wit is a quality too often absent from the feminine mystique. Life is such a drab affair and without humour it…”
ELLEN: “Your ears, Mr. Lancherz! You have bedroom ears.”
LANCHERZ: “Roberto, call me Roberto. I know all about my ears. But, alas, I have kitchen teeth. Pure porcelain.”
ELLEN laughs: “Ellen, call me Ellen. You have lovely teeth, Roberto and a beautiful smile.”
FASTER: “Miss Ellery is staying at another hotel.”
LANCHERZ: “A great tragedy! Perhaps we could persuade the lovely young woman to change her arrangements.”
ELLEN: “But, I’m not staying at another hotel. I’m staying right here in this hotel. I’ve got the room next to yours. I saw your name in the registry and…”
LANCHERZ: “Madam is a romantic. I saw it the first time I laid eyes on you. It fills my heart with… How unfortunate the world is without romance. People are so bitter, worrying about poverty, pestilence, wandering asteroids. They forget to smell the roses.”
FASTER: “Ellen is from Australia.”
LANCHERZ: “I could hear it in her voice. What a lovely accent. Australia must be a very gay place with all those exotic creatures hopping about. What do they call them, kangaroos? Even the name lifts one’s spirits.”
ELLEN: “You must visit it someday. You’d love Sydney.”
LANCHERZ: “But why would I visit Australia when madam is already here?”
ELLEN: “You make me blush, Roberto.”
LANCHERZ: “No crime would be too great if it would bring colour to those lovely cheeks.”
ELLEN: “Oh, Roberto.”
LANCHERZ: “Oh, Ellen.”
FASTER: “I think I’m going to be sick.”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to LONG SHOT of classroom. At the front of the class Lancherz and Faster stand.

LANCHERZ: “Now I shall take a seat as Mr. Faster introduces you to your work. I hope that you will treat Mr. Faster with the courtesy and respect that we Hamiltonians always show outsiders.”
[CAMERA… Lancherz moves from the front of the classroom to the back of the room where he leans against the wall.

FASTER: “I understand that you have been studying early Canadian history. According to your teacher’s lesson plan we are supposed to go over the early inhabitants of this area. Can anyone tell me who they were?”
ADEREMI: “The Neutrals followed by the Mississauga, both of whom were members of the Algonquin tribes.”
FASTER: “Your teacher has written down here that the Scottish were the first inhabitants.”
MARY: “Did people get very lonely then?”
FASTER: “There’s nothing here about loneliness.”
GENE: “What did the Mississauga do for kicks? Were there any Tim Horton’s?”
FASTER: “No. No Macdonald’s, Wendy’s, or Walmart.”
COSTER: “Where did they chill out, man?”
FASTER: “The first inhabitants mostly worked. They had to clear the land, put crops in, build houses and fortifications. The Scottish people were very industrious.”
ADEREMI: “What about before the Scottish? Why did they call them Neutrals and why did they leave to be replaced by the Mississauga?”
FASTER: “An interesting question.”
[CAMERA… CLOSE UP of Lancherz leaning against the wall. He has fallen asleep.

CUT to CLOSE UPS of each student as they speak.

GENE: “Did they just buzz around in their wheels?”
FASTER: “There weren’t any cars? What automobile did General Motors name after a famous Indian chief?”
COSTER: “No wheels!”
FASTER: “No cars, no cell phones, no television, radio, lights, refrigerators, air-conditioners. None of these things had been invented yet.”
NATOYA: “No cell phones!”
MARY: “How could they stand it? They must have been very lonely. Was there a lot of suicide?”
JACK: “Life must have really sucked.”
ADEREMI: “The aboriginal peoples lived in paradise. The Europeans introduced bi-polar disorder, manic depression, and small pox.”
JACK: “Did they have sex? Or did the Europeans invent that as well?”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to LONG SHOT of restaurant where Faster, Ellen, Lancherz and his wife Maria are seated at a table.

LANCHERZ: “You mustn’t be embarrassed, old man. It could happen to anyone.”
ELLEN laughing: “But it always happens to David.”
MARIA: “So you took your shoes off when you entered the restaurant…”
FASTER: “I thought we were eating sushi.”
ELLEN: “At least you had clean socks on.”
MARIA: “And such cute little feet. Like they were bound. I’ve never seen such tiny feet on a man. Not like Roberto’s snowshoes.”
LANCHERZ: “Well let’s change the conversation. We’ve had enough laughter at dear David’s expense.”
ELLEN: “You think his feet are tiny; you should see…”
FASTER: “I’ve never ordered Indian food.”
LANCHERZ: “My dear wife, Maria, will order for you, old man. She’s been here several times with her bridge club. I often wonder what a gathering of such ladies can find to talk about. I’ll bet we can guess, right old man?”
ELLEN: “I could use a drink. I don’t know when I’ve been this thirsty.”
FASTER: “I had Mexican food once. Very spicy. It gave me the runs…”
LANCHERZ: “You should have seen David this afternoon. He had those students on the edge of their seats. I don’t know when I’ve experienced a class so interested in Canadian history. It was a revelation to see students so overjoyed to have been born in the late 20th century.”
ELLEN: “Why is it that there’s never a waiter around when you need one?”
[CAMERA… A waiter appears. Drinks are ordered. Ellen takes out a package of cigarettes. Lancherz reaches into his pocket and brings out a gold cigarette case and offers one to Ellen. As Ellen picks out a cigarette, a gold cigarette lighter appears in Lancherz’s other hand.

ELLEN: “That’s a beautiful case.”
LANCHERZ: “I bought it in a little shop in Brussels. I was attending a conference on the future of education. I loved Belgium. Such a melancholic little people. I guess they have their reasons. They say that every generation another foreign army marches through Belgium. What a gene pool! I met Maria there. She was a chamber maid in this lovely little café in a small town called St. Niklaas, another name for Santa Claus. So charming. Maria wore this cute little maid’s outfit. Did you know that in Belgium they have a different brand of beer for every day of the year? The group I was with must have tried every one. What a hangover I had after that trip.”
[CAMERA… The waiter returns with their drinks. Faster is busily reading the menu. Ellen finishes her drink and orders a second.

ELLEN: “So you play bridge, Maria. I don’t enjoy playing cards myself. It seems so pointless. I mean, what do you accomplish?’
LANCHERZ: “Ditto here.”
MARIA: “We enjoy ourselves.”
LANCHERZ: “You should see these women. There’s a woman called Jackie looks like a turtle. I don’t think she has a neck. And another woman Phyllis, she has a voice like a fog horn.”
MARIA: “I’m sure our guests are not interested in my bridge club, Roberto.”
ELLEN: “I’ve never had any female friends. Never played dolls when I was a kid. I preferred playing with the boys. Bit of a tom boy.”
[CAMERA… The waiter arrives. Maria orders for everyone. Lancherz asks to see the wine list and picks out a bottle for dinner. Ellen orders a third drink.

ELLEN: “I had girl friends in college but with a career it’s difficult to keep in touch. And quite frankly I prefer the company of men.”
MARIA: “You’re really good at this.”
LANCHERZ: “Georgina, another of my wife’s friends, is a dike. There’s no polite way to put it. I mean she’s probation officer.”
MARIA: “She is not.”
FASTER: “I read a little about karma. I never imagined you could eat it.”
ELLEN: “That’s korma. Chicken korma not chicken karma.”
LANCHERZ: “I’m sure Georgina is a probation officer.”
ELLEN: “What did you mean by, you’re really good at this?”
FASTER: “Can’t a chicken have karma?”
MARIA: “There are two things I can’t abide: people talking in the cinema and being…”
LANCHERZ: “… interrupted.”
FASTER: “I would say that chickens must have bad karma, since they end up inside someone else’s stomach. They must have done something dreadful in a past life.”
LANCHERZ: “Don’t we all end up inside someone’s stomach?”
ELLEN: “What did you mean?”
MARIA: “Small talk. You’re one of those women who like to talk a lot about nothing.”
FASTER: “Perhaps chickens were lawyers.”
ELLEN: “I am not one of those women!”
MARIA: “Quit picking on my friends, Roberto. And Georgina is not a lesbian.”
LANCHERZ: “I’ve never seen her in a dress. Always wears jeans. And she had a tattoo on her arm.”
MARIA: “If a woman is not bowled over by Roberto’s charm, he thinks she’s gay.”
ELLEN: “I resent being called one of those women.”
MARIA: “Trust me darling, you are one of those women! You can’t stand it when you are not the center of attention even if you have to babble on and on with banalities.”
LANCHERZ: “Maria is going for the jugular.”
ELLEN: “I have breast cancer!”
[CAMERA… A long pregnant pause.
MARIA: “Oh, dear! I had no idea!”
LANCHERZ: “This is tragic. I think you should apologize, Maria.”
MARIA: “What can you think of me?”
ELLEN: “My doctor keeps calling me back for examinations.”
LANCHERZ: “They can treat breast cancer quite successfully these days.”
ELLEN: “My doctor keeps calling me at all hours. He sends me chocolates and flowers. And notes. Poetry.”
MARIA laughs: “You really are an imbecile. You don’t have cancer, my dear. You have a stalker.”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to MEDIUM SHOT of an office. David Faster sits in a chair in front of a large desk. Behind the desk sits a small balding man. The sign on his desk reads PRINCIPAL SKINNER. He is holding his glasses in one hand and leans forward as he speaks to Faster in a low quivering voice.

SKINNER: “I am not a brave man, Mr. Faster. I don’t mind admitting it. I have three lovely little girls. One is in college, one is graduating from high school this year and I have one little tot still in elementary school. They bring such joy to my life. Sometimes when I am alone, I sit here weeping. A man should not be so lucky. And my wife… how that woman has sacrificed. Sacrificed her own career so that we could have a family, sacrificed so that I could pursue my goals in education. She wanted to be an artist. You should see some of her watercolours, Mr. Faster. There is a fragile tenderness in each of her paint strokes. But, I was not satisfied. A man should know when to say enough is enough. I thought that a few more dollars would make our lives complete. My daughters needed more money for college. My wife deserved a holiday. She has never had a real holiday. I thought we might go to Italy to see the great artists of the Renaissance. We’ve always gone camping. God forgive me, I wanted to join a golf club… A principal’s salary can only stretch so far. In a moment of weakness, I agreed to this scheme of Mr. Sandman’s. But, I cannot go through with it. Mr. Faster, I could lose everything… You know, Mr. Sandman. Could you intercede on my part and explain why I must now rescind my promise. Mr. Faster, my life is in your hands.”
FASTER: “Mr. Skinner, I wish I could help you. But, I have no idea what you are talking about.”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to MEDIUM SHOT of bedroom. Lancherz is in bed reading a book. Maria is dressed in her housecoat, sitting at her vanity, brushing her hair.

MARIA: “What do you think about this fellow, Faster? Can he be trusted?”
LANCHERZ: “You are too suspicious, my dear.”
MARIA: “And that girl, Ellery? There’s something more to that girl than she lets on. What do we know about her?”
LANCHERZ: “She’s a friend of Faster’s. I think they are lovers.”
MARIA: “Roberto, you are so naïve. She’s using him. What would an attractive girl like that see in a klutz like Faster?”
LANCHERZ: “You think she is attractive?”
MARIA: “Don’t pretend you didn’t notice, Roberto? Tell me, how did she manage to show up at the same hotel as Faster? I don’t believe in coincidences. And neither does the Sandman.”
LANCHERZ: “Don’t worry about Sandman. He has left this end of the operation to me. I think he has more confidence in me than you do, my dear.”
MARIA: “That strange little man gives me the creeps. He whispers when he talks. And he never likes to be seen in the public. Insists on turning off all the lights in the room and closing curtains when you meet with him.”
LANCHERZ: “He likes to play bridge.”
MARIA: “And you learn something about a person when you play bridge with him. For one thing, he cheats.”
MARIA: “And he hates to lose. Remember the time he tipped the table over when the cards weren’t going his way. And he pouts. I never heard someone complain so much about every card dealt to him. What do you know about the Sandman?”
LANCHERZ: “I know he’s a successful businessman and he’s going to make all of us very wealthy.”
MARIA: “Men like Sandman don’t become successful without stepping over bodies. I don’t trust him, Roberto. Call it women’s intuition, but I feel like something terrible is going to happen.”
LANCHERZ: “Come to bed, dear. Papa will ease your fears.”



[CAMERA… Shot of opening title:


FADE to white. CUT to MEDIUM SHOT in a dark room. Silhouette of Paul Man, bent and round shouldered, pacing back and forth in front of a window with the curtains closed. Someone is sitting outside the camera’s view. Cigar smoke drifts across the room.

MAN: “They keep pushing me! Pushing and pushing! How much am I expected to take? I won’t be treated like this. Nobody treats Paul Man like this and gets away with it. I’m warning you! I will have respect. Who do these mothers think they’re dealing with? Marvellous stepped over the line. The way he looked at me. Down that squatty little nose of his. I won’t be held accountable for my actions. Not after the way he looked at me. It’s not right. This has gone too far. I’m telling you right now, if that fat blustering mother fucker doesn’t come across with this deal, I’ll be all over him. I’ll kill him. If I have to, I’ll push the bullet into his forehead with my own hands.”
VOICE IN THE DARK: “Calm down, Paul. The hook is baited. We almost have them.”
MAN: “You hired me. You knew how I would react. You’ve been counting on it. Don’t try and change me now! God, I hope Marvellous does turn us down. I’m praying for it!”
[CAMERA… CUT to CLOSE UP of Paul Man’s eyes. They are cold and black.

CUT to CLOSE UP of Man’s mouth smiling.

CUT to LONG SHOT of Principal Skinner’s office. Principal Skinner is sitting behind his desk.

CUT to CLOSE UP of Principal Skinner’s face. He is weeping.



No comments: